Ford brings back the Ranger

The Ford Ranger is back.Ford eliminated the Ranger compact truck from its U.S. lineup in 2011 because, it said...

Posted: Jan 15, 2018 5:54 PM
Updated: Jan 15, 2018 5:54 PM

The Ford Ranger is back.

Ford eliminated the Ranger compact truck from its U.S. lineup in 2011 because, it said, customers weren't interested enough in small trucks to sustain the business.

Since then, Toyota has done fine with its smaller Tacoma truck. General Motors had a major hit when it brought back the Chevrolet Colorado mid-sized truck in 2015.

Meanwhile, Ford continued selling a pickup called the Ranger in markets outside the United States.

A revised version of that truck, the one sold overseas, is now coming back to the United States as the 2019 Ford Ranger. It's larger than the old Ranger pickup. It has a few cosmetic changes for the North American market, including changes in the grill and hood-line.

For the U.S. market, designers wanted to give the Ranger more of a "Ford Tough" look, explained Joe Hinrichs, Ford's executive vice president for Global Operations. That's an attitude American customers expect from a truck, he said. Plus Ford wanted it to bear some resemblance to the larger F-150 pickup.

The Ford Ranger will be powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. It will provide power similar to competitive trucks' 6-cylinder engines but with better fuel economy, according to Ford.

The Ranger will also have a 10-speed transmission, a fuel-saving feature that Ford is adding to many of its vehicles. Generally speaking, transmissions with more gear ratios are more efficient because they allow the engine to spend more time operating with its most efficient speed range.

A special option package, called FX4, will provide off-road tires, specially tuned shock absorbers, all terrain tires and protective plates on the underside of the truck. It will also have a computerized "Terrain Management System" with settings for different sorts of on-road and off-road surfaces.

The Ranger will share its underlying engineering with the company's upcoming Bronco off-road-capable SUV, which will be produced starting in 2020.

The ability to use the truck's engineering for more than one vehicle was a major factor in the decision to bring the Ranger back to the United States. Automakers rely on that sort of "platform sharing" to maximize profits, especially when a given vehicle may not, on its own, sell in large enough numbers to make the investment worthwhile.

The Ranger and, later, the Bronco will both be built at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant. That plant builds Ford Focus compact cars. Focuses are still being built there even as construction workers are building assembly lines for the Ranger but, in the next few months, production of the Focus for the U.S. market will shift to China. Ford had originally said it would go to Mexico, an announcement that brought an angry response from President Donald Trump.

Ford made that decision, said Hinrichs, because small cars don't sell as well in the U.S. as they used to. Trucks and SUVs, however, remain extremely popular. The shift to Ranger and Bronco production will keep jobs at the plant, he said, and even increase employment there.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113081

Reported Deaths: 3231
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7823176
DeSoto676778
Harrison490283
Jackson439383
Rankin385986
Madison375793
Lee349079
Forrest298078
Jones285384
Washington253799
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Lamar219038
Bolivar199477
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Neshoba1820111
Lowndes175562
Panola167638
Leflore163287
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Warren153255
Monroe146572
Pontotoc145219
Pike137256
Lincoln136856
Marshall136226
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Scott123829
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Simpson119549
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Clarke72750
Clay68421
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Smith58516
Claiborne53416
Montgomery53123
Tunica52317
Yalobusha51314
Lawrence50414
Perry48423
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Stone45514
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Humphreys41916
Quitman4176
Jefferson Davis40011
Webster36613
Wilkinson33120
Kemper32115
Benton3194
Sharkey28014
Jefferson27110
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1064
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 154942

Reported Deaths: 2660
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22720374
Mobile14405314
Tuscaloosa10066137
Montgomery9820196
Madison907894
Shelby715361
Lee646165
Baldwin644369
Marshall431048
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Houston365532
DeKalb325428
Elmore312852
St. Clair283842
Limestone273630
Walker269993
Talladega259135
Cullman231024
Lauderdale212540
Jackson205515
Autauga202130
Franklin201731
Colbert193330
Russell19053
Blount187325
Dallas186027
Chilton182632
Escambia171428
Coffee16829
Covington166629
Dale163851
Chambers133043
Pike131313
Tallapoosa129587
Clarke127317
Marion105029
Butler99840
Barbour9969
Marengo98222
Winston90613
Geneva8447
Lawrence81131
Pickens81117
Randolph80514
Bibb80114
Hale74830
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Clay72212
Lowndes70228
Henry6386
Bullock63717
Monroe63610
Washington62312
Crenshaw59830
Perry5816
Wilcox55912
Fayette55713
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Cleburne5327
Macon53020
Sumter46821
Lamar4595
Choctaw38712
Greene34016
Coosa1993
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