Thanks To Federal Regulations, Americans Can Say Goodbye To The Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger has been a staple of the automaker’s light truck line for decades now, but it won’t be available any longer in American markets. Not because Americans aren’t buying it any more – the CEO of Ford said last year that the company would be “nuts” to be rid of the model line – but because the auto company can’t make the vehicle comply with new CAFE standards.

In fact, a heavily-updated 2012 version of the model will be sold in foreign markets. But not in America.

I’ve just discovered that Ford has dropped the Ranger – America’s last compact-sized truck – for 2012. But not from its lineup. Just from its U.S. model lineup. Not only will the Ranger continue to be sold in export markets, the 2012 model will be a heavily updated model which, among other things, will offer a new diesel engine – something you can’t get in any current pick-up in the U.S. that’s not at least a 2500 series behemoth with a price tag well over $30,000. Meanwhile, the Aussies, among others, will get a brand-new Ranger, revealed at the Thailand International Motor Expo last month. …

The only thing I can come up with is… CAFE. The federal government’s fuel efficiency edicts. But wait, isn’t the Ranger more fuel-efficient than the F-truck? Wouldn’t a diesel Ranger be even more so? Yes, and yes. So?

Bear with me.

CAFE is about fleet averages, which are measured based on annual production totals. So, the more of a given vehicle that gets less-than-par MPGs (35.5 MPGs by 2016) the lower a car company’s overall fleet average CAFE score. By getting rid of the Ranger, Ford will produce fewer trucks overall that don’t make the CAFE cut, which will help float the final number.

Ford is not going to drop the F-truck, a best-seller. But the merely ok-selling Ranger is expendable.

So, sayonara.

The Ranger, like the incandescent light bulb, is being taken off of US markets not because they’re obsolete products surpassed by something better but rather because the government has driven them from the market with regulation. Regulation that is so ham-handed that, in the case of the Ford Ranger, is actually taking generally more fuel efficient vehicles off the road.

This is being done in the name of promoting energy conservation, but I’ve never understood why the government thinks that efficiency is something they must enforce with law. Nobody likes expensive electric bills, or expensive fill-ups at the gas station. We all do what we can to keep those expenses as small as possible. But those expenses aren’t our only considerations. Quality and aesthetics and function also matter, so much so that we’re often willing to sacrifice a bit of efficiency for them, but when the government mandates certain levels of efficiency those other considerations take a back seat.

You really have to wonder if we can still be called a free country when we have to choose a light bulb or a vehicle based on what the government deems important, rather than what we deem important.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Oldtimer

    BMW no longer sells standard transmission SUVs (X-3s or X-5s) in the US for the same reason – fleet CAFE standards. Ridiculous.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Yeah.  I mean, why would we want to let people buy what they like?  What is this, a free country or something?

      • $8194357

        Because soviet central planning has worked so well for everyone in the past?

      • cylde

        now if only GM would stop wasting taxpayer money on those VOLTs that they can not  get UAW workers to buy even with tax credits and a 10% employee discount.

    • Sp

      BMWs are pieces of crap.

  • SigFan

    So now, people who would be fine with a smaller, more fuel efficient truck will have to buy one of the big, gas guzzling behemoths.  You can buy any vehicle you like – as long as the government approves it.  Liberalism always generates the opposite of it’s stated intent – once again proven.

    • Demosthenes

      F-trucks now can come with a V6. Not as “guzzling” as it was before.

      • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

        That’s true, a lot more efficient than before (though also a lot less powerful in a lot of ways for those of us who use trucks for their intended purpose), but still more “gas guzzling” than the Ford Rangers.

        • Sp

          Rob, why don’t you give us your lecture about the ‘authentic,’ ‘intended’ uses of a truck as if people who don’t live on paved roads would never support environmental regulations.

          All the name-calling is rotting your brain.

        • Camsaure

          I have an 08 Jeep Wrangler that is a victim of CAFE standards. They came out with a wimpy ass gutless3.8 litre V6 minivan engine. It is OK on flat ground with no wind, but not on NDs windy days and hills. It gets 1 more mpg then the earlier inline 4.0 litre six that was designed in the mid 60s by Rambler which could last for 300 thousand miles and had tourque up the butt. I don’t understand why Jeep choose to depower their “flagship” model in leiu of their smaller models like the Compass and Patriot. I have actually considered getting rid of my newer model for an 06 or earlier model with the older better engine. Everything the govt gets involved in it effs up.

      • SigFan

        True, but underpowered for the heavy construction guys I know that favor the F series, and still not as fuel efficient as the Ranger and too large for a lot of people.  The Ranger filled a niche market for people that needed a smaller truck and did it at a reasonable price and performance.  Now those people will buy Toyota or Nissan, maybe the Chevy Colorado, but I thought I heard that was dead too.

        • Jamermorrow

          Also a great vehicle for high school kids and college kids. See many of them in the parking lots.

  • Demosthenes

    Now, I am going out on a limb and just commenting but, the Ford Ranger was not that great of a truck AND if I remember from what Ford said, that it was an ‘OK’ selling truck but a rather poor selling one already.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      The CEO said, last year, that they would be “nuts” to be rid of the line because it was a consistent seller.  The last time I checked, the domestic auto industry didn’t exactly have a lot of fat they could cut.  Can they really afford to be rid of lines that are reliable sellers?

      I don’t think so.  The Rangers have been selling better than Ford’s crossovers.

      • Dakotacyr

        Apples and oranges comparison between the ranger and crossovers.

  • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

    Shrinking demand for compacts

    Overall, the compact truck segment is less than a quarter the size it
    was just a decade ago—from one million per year down to about 230,000.

    Ford’s Schirmer attributes this to several things; one of them is
    that the Ranger’s longtime luster in company fleets has started to fade.
    A lot of Ranger buyers were fleet purchasers, choosing that model only
    because of price, Schirmer said. “It was often times only a purchase
    because it was an inexpensive Ford product, not as a pickup.” Which, at
    the same time, always limited what could be done to keep the model
    updated.

    Then on the personal-use side, many Rangers were bought by commuters,
    who didn’t really need a truck. There, too, it was because buyers
    simply wanted a low-price, fuel-efficient Ford. “It just happened to be a pickup truck,” Schirmer quipped. “If you need a pickup to work, you’re buying an F-Series.”

    And those pricing boundaries might have been getting somewhat muddled as of late. According to the Detroit News, it might only cost $20 a month more to get into an F-150.

    http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1050522_all-new-2012-ford-ranger-not-coming-to-the-u-s-heres-why

    A week ago, PickupTrucks.com reported that the Ford Ranger’s
    last day of production will be December 22, 2011.  As someone who has
    owned two Ford Rangers over the past five years, I felt a little sad
    when I read the news. The automaker is introducing a new version of the
    Ranger globally, but since it will be nearly the same size as the F-150
    sold in the U.S., they’ve decided not to bring the redesigned model
    here. Ford hopes that rather than switching to another brand in search
    of a small pickup, buyers will instead opt for the V-6 F-150, the
    company’s most fuel-efficient full-size pickup.

    While I’ll miss the Ranger, it’s easy to understand Ford’s reasoning behind the move: The compact pickup segment is dwindling. Auto Observer
    notes that not only did sales of all pickup trucks decline when the
    recession hit, but sales of compact pickups have been cannibalized by
    the rapidly-improving full-size pickup market.

    http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/best-cars-blog/2011/06/Why_Ford_is_Discontinuing_the_Ranger/

    Erich Merkle, Ford’s top US sales analyst, said: “Nobody has infinite
    resources, and we have to figure out how we can best position those
    resources to meet the needs of customers today and in the future. (The
    Ranger) has been pretty popular, but we think more of a baseline F-150
    can also meet a good portion of those needs.”

    The Ranger topped 100,000 sales in its first year but in 2010 this
    slumped to 55,364 units. A version was also for a time built for Mazda. Merkle said: “The (small-pickup) segment is down to just over 2% of the total industry. In 2000, it was 6%.”

    http://www.just-auto.com/news/ford-to-discontinue-ranger_id117902.aspx

    • ellinas1

      I don’t know why you bother with the truth.
      People in this blog have their minds made up.
      They want……Hmmmm…….what do they want?

      • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

        “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
        It is important to avail the deceived to truth.

        • $8194357

          Your one sick puppy deluded one. Once again with the leftist “false moral high ground ” the Marxists said  to counter a moral western culture…PC is the lefts religion in the abcense of a relationship with Christ. How in your mind does cutting and pasting B/S on a blog make you pervailer of “truths” availability”? I will stick with the Divine and Indwelt Spirit Jesus gave me and not your or any other mans spin and arrogance…
          Sheesh you folks are arrogant..Keeping evil from triumphing as you avail your “worldly wisdom” and arrogance as some form of guiding light….Leftist arrogance once again. Now tell me how the right is guilty as well and you know better..

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            He just posted the facts and you get all mental, what’s wrong with you?  That was rhetorical.

          • $8194357

            So you dis agree with me so it must be “mental”.  Typical liberal. Whats “right” with you…Thats not rhetorical..

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Mental as in: Pseudo psychological.

          • $8194357

            Your a legend in your own mind kid.
            Half a million profit for your last customer..And still able to spend multiple hours ‘pointing out conservitives lies”. A regular gift to mankind like boob….Your mission is admirable.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Bob posted facts and you went psychological.  Why not challenge Bob to the facts?

            It was .5 mil deal, the GP is a different issue.

          • $8194357

            Did you make enough to pay for the 4×4?

            I know from working 25 years in corperate America “the facts” are numbers on a graph that “anyone” can manipulate to say what ever they want them to say..Been there seen it..

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Most of what Rbb posted was interpretation of the facts.  Either way, the facts are what they are.

            I put 24 down and financed the rest so that I can keep my credit rating going strong.

          • ellinas1

            We are not marxists, nor leftists. We are anti conservative.
            Nothing wrong with what Bob wrote, for it is the truth.

          • $8194357

            Anti conservitive? I never would have guessed E..So are the communists, facists and jihadists..Good company your keeping.

          • ellinas1

            I guess you never heard of conservative communists, fascists and jihadists.
            Look it up some time.

          • $8194357

            Your “definition” of conservitive must be defferant than mine…I know no “conservitives” with “radicle” agendas they want to force on others…They defend “liberty” “freedom” and “limited government”. The excamples of extremism of communist, facists, and jihadists, “hates” conservitives.

          • ellinas1

            My definition of conservative:
            “favouring the preservation of established customs, values, etc, and opposing innovation.”

          • JustRuss

            I do not oppose innovation but the rest is pretty on the nose. What is wrong with our values and customs in this country? From what I can tell most anti-conservatives have no morals or values besides whatever feels good right now.

          • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

            From what I can tell, most pro-cons are greedy, selfish, mean, short sighted and value money over real Americans.

          • ellinas1

            The world is changing and you want to be stuck in the past?

            I should add that you are wrong about the anti conservatives.

        • ellinas1

          Amen brother Bob.
          To that, I add: “ALL TRUTH is safe, and nothing else is safe; and he who keeps back the truth, or withholds it from men, from motives of expediency, is either a coward or a criminal, or both.”

          And this from a chap named Luther Burbank: “The time has come for honest men to denounce false teachers and attack false gods.”

          • $8194357

            “The time has come for honest men to denounce false teachers and attack false gods.”
            So you get to decide or do you take the Bible at its word that Jesus is the TRUTH the WAY and the LIFE and all else is a lie?
            Divine and mine…Very different alot of the time E. Man has the fallen nature of the devil and easily led to destruction..You anti-conservitives take an aweful lot of stock in fallen mans wisdom..

          • ellinas1

            With the Bible, lots of prayer and divine inspiration I use the brain/spirit that God has given me, combine that with the wisdom of my elders and the wisdom that my age affords me, and make decisions based on Christ’s teachings.

          • Dakotacyr

            Ah… a new competitor for Neiman.

          • $8194357

            It was E’s statement copied from his post…Funny how the same statement coming from the right as the left is somehow evil to you lefties, no?

          • Neiman

            Ellyanus must seek the truth in such a way, as he has not the Spirit of Christ and as we know Spiritual Truth can only be spiritually discerned and he, Hannah and Bob have not the Spirit of Christ, but theirs rises from Perdition.

          • ellinas1

            Nah! Mr Point is religious, but he is no Neiman.

          • Demosthenes

            You pray on that and let me know when it happens…

          • $8194357

            I coppied it from E’s previous post. It was his quote, not mine…This was E agreeing with rrb about how their life mission is to “decern truth” for us mere mortal conservitives…jump on them if you don’t like their quote.

      • $8194357

        Mornin E..Merry Christmas.
        Hmm..what do they want?

        Less government and peace on earth? The Bible states neither will happen until Jesus returns and the government will be on His shoulders…..

        God Bless and Keep you and yours. Take care.

        • ellinas1

          Morning Mr 7point62.  Merry Christmas to you and yours.
          I have no argument against what you wrote. I agree with you.
          God Bless and Keep you and yours. Take care.

          • banjo kid

            You can’t argue with the truth . and a nice wish for you and yours. I wish all here a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year , as long as I keep maple syrup on my table.

          • ellinas1

            Merry Christmas to you and yours.

      • A2freelife

        “I don’t know why you bother with the truth.”

        Because industry and the consumer should decide what is best, not the government or the CAFE standards.

        • ellinas1

          Ford discontinued the pickup because they sold only 55,364 units.
          So I guess the consumer and the industry decided on the fate of this pickup.

      • banjo kid

        I don’t know about the rest but I want maple syrup on my pan cakes I fear the left will stop us from stabbing trees to get its bounty .

        • ellinas1

          I am with you on the maple syrup issue.
          Down with the fake maple syrup.
          Keep stabing those trees and keep the real thing flowing.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Well of course, boob, in an industry where the federal government not only swings a heavy regulatory fist but also owns Ford’s domestic competitors, they’re not just going to come out and say “It’s the CAFE standards.”

      But it’s the CAFE standards driving vehicles people want out of the market.

      But if you want to avoid those accusations, the solution is easy.  End the CAFE standards and let people buy what they want.

      What do you have against freedom?

      • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

        rube, small truck sales are down between 60 and 75 percent.
        Why do you hate the free market?

        • SigFan

          Since you’re such a staunch free marketer, I assume then you would have no problem killing off a car hardly anyone wants and no one could afford without the heavy taxpayer subsidies – like the Volt?

          • Jfisher17

            Don’t bother them with logic, Sig- it’s the Volt! It’s electric! It’s a piece of…..

        • Robertfrost

          He hates it case-by-case, only when it doesn’t support his conclusion.  Rob is a RINO, backing government regulation when it suits his argument (reference the man-camp thread).

          • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

            I know. It’s adorable, isn’t it?

      • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

        Small Truck sales are down because we live in a free country and people are choosing different cars for various reasons, least of them having to do with CAFE standards.

        Sheesh!

        • $8194357

          Going electric soon son?

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Nope.  Just bought a new 4×4, modifying it now.  Just bought a custom bumper with PIAA lighting.

          • $8194357

             Nice truck…No market for those electric cars anyway…

      • Dakotacyr

        Why don’t we end air and water protections and let the people be truly free.  Why don’t we end speed limits, and all consumer protections.  Why don’t we end all trademark protection laws and all business protections laws? Why don’t we end all criminal laws and child labor laws.

        Let’s all be truly free.

    • Demosthenes

      Yeah, those remarks. Except I think i heard them on the radio.

    • JayTeaNH

      How positively liberal. Because I don’t think it’s a good product, NO ONE should be allowed to buy it. And here are all the reasons why you’re stupid for wanting it, so you should thank me for keeping you from making what I consider a bad choice.

      J.

      • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

        Mr. T, why do you hate the free market?
        And please link us to somewhere I wrote I don’t think it’s a good product.

        Nutters crack me up.

        • JayTeaNH

          I love the free market, reality-challenged one. I wish the government would let Ford continue to make vehicles people want. I wish the government would let people buy the light bulbs they want. I wish the government would let the people buy the toilets they want. I wish the government would let people decide, on their own, whether to wear motorcycle helmets and seat belts.

          But reality-challenged people like you are so convinced that you know the “right” answers, that you have a moral obligation to protect the rest of us from the consequences of making “bad” decisions. So you get the government to deny us our choices. So we get light bulbs loaded with toxic chemicals, only big pickups, ineffective “low-flow” toilets, and mandatory seat belt and helmet laws.

          What the hell is it about you liberal fascists that the only area where you think people can be trusted with “choice” is in regards to sex?

          J.

  • Dakotacyr

    What a bunch of hooey!  More lies!  That is not why the truck is being discontinued and just a bit of research on your part instead of just copying and pasting a story that fits your “I hate governmment regulation” meme would have actually produced the facts and truth about the Ranger.

    More mischaracterization and lies. Typical.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      I guess it’s not the CAFE standards just because you say so and stuff.

      • Dakotacyr

        No, because you have not offered one whit of proof. 

  • RCND

    Maybe they will be available in Canada or Mexico…

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Actually, yes, the Rangers will be available for international sale.  Australia is one place mentioned.  The 2012 model was debuted at a car show in Taiwan.

  • Random Passerby

    As I recall, Ford was the one company that didn’t go under the thumb of the gummint. Right after that there was a general muttering about how that was going to come back and haunt the company. Since Ford sales since then have been firaly good, and the union negotiation was settled…that only left one route for enemies to be punished, and friends rewarded.

    Purely coincidental I’m sure.

    • $8194357

      (Purely coincidental I’m sure.)

      Nazi tactics..Play ball with the Democrats or suffer big brothers wrath…The government has left servents of the people mentality for tyranical control long ago. And as all Marxists claim the false moral high ground while enslaving them…

  • Demosthenes

    Also.

    If Ford made or produced a Ranger that made the CAFE standards by 2016 it would also HELP float the number.

    • $8194357

      Or subsidize a small truck like Government moters did for small green cars?

      • Demosthenes

        Ether way it is still a pretty big ‘If’ in the reporters and Rob’s theory as to why.

        Nothing though to do with the actual market for the toy truck pretty much disappearing.

  • Fighting Czech

    I own a Ranger,  for my work.  its small,  but I made it work.  I bought a two wheel drive, with the big V-6 in it.  it was the only thing I could find at the time that you dont need a sky crane to reach over the sides to get tools out,  or a ladder to get into the back end.   at least with this I had access to most of my tools.   wouldnt get another one though.  Ive got lots if issues with things in the interior,  and dents in the box from things that wouldnt happen  in a Normal pickup.  its a light weight.  besides that its price tag wasnt that much lower then a full size,  and the mileage   isnt that much better… 20-21 MPH.  I think these are the reasons they dont make mini pickups anymore.  If your just using it as a commuter  and the box is empty 95% of the time,  with gas prices going up,,,  one has to start thinking about saving money,  over having  a fun ride.  besides there are a lot better options available out there these days.    some one mentioned Diesels.  I would be interested in hearing comments about the new urea systems in your new diesels.  I dont know if its a good deal or not,  but Im gonna go out on a limb,  and say that the FEDS have gone a long way to screw up what used to be a Good,  Cheap fuel.

  • Sp

    Fords are pieces of crap.

    If you need a truck, buy a Toyota.

  • Fighting Czech

    by the way,  The Ranger line was supposed to have been shut down 5 years ago,  Ford wanted the St Paul plant shut down…And the reason the Ranger couldnt  pass the CAFE, is more likely that Ford wasnt going to stick any more money in R & D on a PIckup they dont want to build anymore.  The stupid toy pickup was making them money… I cant figure out why they dumped it.
    Ya,  if you want the best,  Id probably go Toyota  too…

  • headward

    Light trucks are gutless.  The TOC of them are about the same of a fullsize truck.  I fell in love with the tacoma but after looking at the numbers you still get shitty milage and the sticker price is sometimes bigger than a fullsize. 

    But in the end the CAFE standards are still stupid.

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