American made pickups are as good now as they’ve ever been. And as their popularity soars, some of the iconic names many of us grew up with are making a comeback. Jeep is resurrecting the Wagoneer. Bronco fans don’t have long to wait. But Ford is bringing back the smaller end of their line, too, with a new Ford Ranger. And it seems like demand is high.
The truck those of us in North America know as the Ford Ranger officially came into being in the early 80s. Before that, there were other small Fords, and other names for the trucks, but something with the Ranger brand just seemed to fit.
Over the next 30 years, the truck went through numerous revisions. The small-bodied pickups were immensely popular, though, and relatively fuel efficient. Americans, though, were buying bigger trucks, so Ford shut down the production in 2011.
At least for the US market. The Ranger never really went away, and now it is coming back.
Could it be that Ford underestimated the popularity of the Ranger? Did they take it offline too soon, or is the new demand based entirely on the truck’s recent scarcity?
“President of Ford’s North American Operations, Kumar Galhotra, spoke in Detroit Wednesday. Demand, he told reporters, is high. The demand is so high that Ford is scheduling “massive overtime” to produce trucks.
“Ford and General Motors Co. are slashing production of sedans and small cars, as automakers struggle with the collapse of demand for the traditional family car that has left them with excess factory capacity to make 3 million of those unwanted models. At the same time, they are boosting production of trucks and sport-utility vehicles to meet booming demand,” Jalopnik writes, citing a Bloomberg wire story.
“Galhotra said Ford is now putting 90 percent of its capital expenditure into producing trucks and SUVs. He didn’t provide further details on the planned production increase for the Ranger.
I’m sure this pendulum will never swing back, and that gas prices will always be low, and Ford will never be caught out again.”
The industry doesn’t shift gears quickly. This move shows just how hard it is to predict the whims of the American consumer.
No matter. The Ranger returns. Supply will eventually outpace demand, and Ford will once again have an inexpensive small truck, something it has been lacking for too long.