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MotownG5
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PostSubject: the end of the Ford Ranger   Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:36 pm


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Sometime Friday, the final Ford Ranger pickup will be driven off the assembly line in St. Paul, Minn., ending an 86-year run for a factory opened by Henry Ford. Here's what the end of the Ranger means for work in America.
Launched in 1982, but born from the gas crises of the '70s, the Ranger was for over a decade the most popular small truck in America through 2004. Since then, the numbers have plunged to as low as 55,000 a year, but even in its final year, Ford will likely sell more Rangers in the United States than Mustangs.

Since its last redesign in 1998, Ford has toyed with updating or replacing the Ranger for years — but decided a new model would only compete too closely with the F-Series pickups for a shrinking pool of customers. And where fuel economy had once been the Ranger's reason for existence, technology has caught up; the twin-turbo V-6 F-150 pickup now gets better mileage than the top-end Ranger.

"The compact pickup segment in the U.S. has been declining — from almost 8 percent of total industry sales in 1994 to 2 percent of industry sales in 2010," said Ford spokesman Mike Levine "The F-Series works best for customers in North America."

After the last Ranger departs St. Paul on Friday — en route to use by Orkin, which has bought almost exclusively Ford Rangers for its exterminators — the Twin Cities Assembly plant will close. Built in 1924 by Henry and Edsel Ford, the plant employed 2,000 workers at its peak, riveting together everything from Mercury Turnpike Cruisers to armored cars for World War II. After Friday, some 800 workers will be let go.



But it's also a sign that the rest of America isn't working like it used to. There are as many Americans working in construction today as there were 15 years ago. The same is true for repair and maintenance jobs -- men and women who drive from job to job every day, racking up hundreds of thousands of miles on their Rangers. The people who bought most Ford Rangers for work and home simply don't have jobs that require the ability to haul an 8-foot sheet of plywood; those that still do were steered to the larger pickups that were discounted enough to seal the sale.

That's not true elsewhere. Earlier this year, Ford launched a new Ranger in Asia that will eventually be sold in 188 countries. Larger than the current Ranger but still smaller than an F-150, Ford stuffed the new global Ranger with a host of new tech, from touch-screen navigation to new fuel-efficient diesel engines.
The two countries where it won't be sold: the United States and Canada. In Australia, where the new Ranger has won strong plaudits from reviewers, the base model costs $28,000, more than what a larger, well-equipped F-150 can be bought for here. Top-end models touch $40,000, unheard-of prices for a small pickup on these shores.

Ford's loss has other companies moving; General Motors is expected to bring out a new version of the Chevrolet Colorado, also based on a global update, and Nissan and Toyota remain strong sellers. Whether the Ranger ever goes back to work here depends on when the rest of us do as well.

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304KustomZ of Morgantown, WV
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PostSubject: Re: the end of the Ford Ranger   Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:12 pm

You either need a truck or you don't. Never understood the concept of a tiny truck, I mean still better than the Explorer Sport-Tracs, but I don't understand this market segment.
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MotownG5
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PostSubject: Re: the end of the Ford Ranger   Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:22 pm

comes in handy for those who need a truck but can't afford the gas bill on the f150, silverado or ram 1500. I'm personally not a huge fan of the Ranger, but it's been around forever it seems like


304KustomZ of Morgantown, WV
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SnowXRacer
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PostSubject: Re: the end of the Ford Ranger   Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:08 am

I owned a Ranger for a few years. It was a good little truck for a single guy. I needed 4WD for all the snowmobiling trips up north and could throw my wet gear in the winter or fishing equipment in the spring in the back and not have to worry about getting things dirty. It had the 4.0L, manual trans, and 4:10 rears which made it fun to drive in the twistys or around town. It was fairly quick for what it was. Wasn't really a good highway truck with the 4:10s but I made due. I couldn't ever go back now having the Tundra (and a family) but it served its purpose for the time. Oh and I bought it brand new with no miles for 15K.

My Ranger:
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Gixxer
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PostSubject: Re: the end of the Ford Ranger   Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:13 pm

I also had the 4.0 5 speed ranger with 3" lift and 33s. Was a decent truck but something was always going wrong with it but it did good in the mud.
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91foxbody
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PostSubject: Re: the end of the Ford Ranger   Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:22 pm

its a shame. A few years ago i heard a rumor through Ford (i get emails from Ford and such) that they might be canning the Ranger and re-introducing the F100 and might have the ecoboost V6 or inline 4, and possibly a small diesel engine
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MotownG5
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PostSubject: Re: the end of the Ford Ranger   Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:44 pm

91foxbody wrote:
its a shame. A few years ago i heard a rumor through Ford (i get emails from Ford and such) that they might be canning the Ranger and re-introducing the F100 and might have the ecoboost V6 or inline 4, and possibly a small diesel engine

I've heard the same thing


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