In somewhat of a reversal of plans, Ford is actively looking to bring a small pickup truck to the North American market. The truck would be considerably smaller than the 2015 Ford F-150 and would be more along the lines of the Ford Ranchero in terms of size.
Did we say Ford Ranchero? Yup, we sure did.
When Ford killed the Ranger in 2011, it did so because it felt there wasn’t enough difference between it and the larger, full-size F-150. On paper, the fuel economy and price of both vehicles was pretty close. Yet, Ranger fans have been clamoring for Ford to bring the international-market Ranger T6 to North America.
And as it happens, the marketing manager of Ford Trucks, Doug Scott, recently told USA Today that the automaker is looking to bring a very compact truck to market. But why wouldn’t Ford just bring back the Ranger? Scott says the global Ranger is “too big. It’s 90% of the F-150 size.”
Instead, Ford is looking for an even smaller model than the mid-size trucks Toyota, Nissan and GM (Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon) currently offer. This truly compact truck would be a throwback to when small trucks, were indeed, small trucks. In fact, the vehicle could be identical to the Ford Ranchero of the 1960s, which was a competitor to the Chevy El Camino and is similar to the Utes (such as the Ford Falcon Ute, pictured above) sold in Australia.
“We’re looking at it. We think we could sell a compact truck that’s more like the size of the old Ranger, that gets six or eight more miles per gallon (than a full-size truck), is $5,000 or $6,000 less, and that we could build in the U.S. to avoid the tariff on imported trucks,” Scott told USA Today.
The tariff Scott is referring to is the so-called Chicken Tax that puts a 25 percent markup on trucks imported into the country. So whether the Ford Ranchero name comes back or not, knowing that The Blue Oval is actively looking to bring a small truck to market will likely make small truck fans happy. It will also create an interesting truck option for prospective buyers, who today have more choices than ever.