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Cheaper gas prices lead to demise of Ford Ranger

Ford is getting rid of its Ranger small pickup trucks. The company says it's investing in demand, and that's for full-size vehicles. Cheaper gas prices could be to blame.

Jeremy Hobson: Here in the U.S. the last Ford Ranger pickup truck is expected roll off the assembly line in St. Paul, Minn. this month. Ford is sending the Ranger off into the sunset, in part because people want bigger trucks.

As our senior business correspondent Bob Moon reports.


Bob Moon: Ford has seen small truck sales drop from 8 to just 2 percent of the market, and spokesman Mike Levine says you can't argue with the numbers.

Mike Levine: We've put our investment where we have the most demand, and that's for full-size pickups.

Rewind to just this past April, though: President Obama was chiding gas-guzzling drivers for complaining about high prices.

Barack Obama: They're all still driving their big SUVs. You know, they've got their big monster trucks and everything.

IHS Automotive analyst Rebecca Lindland says that push to smaller cars actually ended this summer, right on cue, based on past experience.

Rebecca Lindland: Consumers typically will change their buying habits when there is a spike in fuel prices. After three to four months, we will see the consumer go back to their traditional buying habits.

Ford's Mike Levine says smaller trucks just aren't attracting buyers the way they used to.

Levine: Their fuel economy is the same, if not worse, than full-size trucks. Also, the prices of mid-size trucks, along with their sizes, have grown to be almost full-size proportions.

Levine says Ford is committed to giving consumers the vehicles they want through improved fuel economy. But analyst Lindland says developing new gas-saving technology's expensive, so buyers should be ready to pay more.

I'm Bob Moon for Marketplace.

About the author

Bob Moon is Marketplace’s senior business correspondent, based in Los Angeles.
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Cheaper gas prices? I don't know where the fill there tank but the prices are not cheaper. Also the Ranger was/is a peace of junk. It was like driving a Matchbox.

http://www.illinoislemonlaw.com/

Agreed Larry. I am not sure why Ford is convinced that everyone in America that needs the occasional use of a truck, demands the size and overwhelmingly poor gas performance of a Full Sized truck. I understand the "need" to keep the best selling truck in 37 years in place on the market. But why not offer the F-150, or the F-100/Ranger in a diesel version. Doesn't anyone else in this country realize how much more efficient a diesel truck is to a gas truck? Combine that efficiency with the size and low end torque of the Ford 2012 ranger, and you have a very desirable vehicle, that doesn't take up the full parking space in a shopping mall lot.
Check out these articles and reports on the Ranger, and what is not being made available to US crowds b/c they (Ford) are worried that a truck with only 9/10ths the size and 120+% more vehicle performance than the F-150 would do to their "Truck" image. I find it especially impressive that one of the men involved in the design and development of the ranger demanded that one be shipped home to the states when he left Australia, hmmm, so good he wanted it shipped thousands of miles instead of having a cheap discount on an F-150? Wonder why, maybe the diesel, maybe the size, maybe just the sheer practicality of the fact that in every other country not the US, the Ranger is a HUGE vehicle, which makes the F-150 Gargantuan! And not even realistic, getting 21 mpg on Gas/Petrol, when the rest of the world knows and appreciates the efficiency of Diesel.
End of story, sorry Ford, missed your global opportunity to make good on your own ideas...

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/trucks/1202_2012_global_market_ford_...

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2011/11/2012-global-ford-ranger-road-test.html

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2011/09/first-drive-2012-ford-ranger.html

I am not happy with the decision by Ford Motor Company to do away with the Ford Ranger pickup truck. As a life-long Ford owner (since 1962), I had planned to purchase a 2012 Ford Ranger as the Ford F-150 pickup is simply too large for me. It has nothing to do with gas mileage but it has to do with size. It appears to me that I will have to look to another company to purchase a smaller pickup truck. Ford doesn't even allow the opportunity for American consumers to import the new 2012 Ford Ranger, which is made in Australia. The only other option is to look at Chevrolet, Dodge, Toyota, or Nissan. But...I just hate to leave Ford!

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