Ford Ranger (Americas)

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Ford Ranger
2011 Ford Ranger XLT -- NHTSA.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Ford
Production 1982–2011
2018-present
Model years 1983–2011
2019-present
Body and chassis
Class Compact pickup truck
Layout Front-engine, rear- / four-wheel drive
Chronology
Predecessor Ford Courier
Successor Ford F-150 (2011–2019)
Ford Ranger (T6)

The Ford Ranger is a compact pickup truck that was manufactured and marketed by Ford Motor Company from 1983 to 2012 model years for North America. From 1997 to 2011, a version was also manufactured and sold in South America. Introduced to replace the Ford Courier produced in Japan by Mazda, the Ranger had two distinct generations. While introduced a year after the Chevrolet S-10, the Ranger would go on to become the best-selling compact truck in the United States from 1987 to 2004.[1]

Over its production life, the chassis and suspension of the Ranger would be used for several compact Ford trucks and sport-utility vehicles. During the 1990s and 2000s, Mazda adopted a badge-engineered version of the Ranger, for their B-Series nameplate (the reverse of the Ford Courier produced by Mazda).

Over its 29-year production run, Ford produced the Ranger at three different assembly plants in North America. The Ranger was produced at the Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, Kentucky from 1982 to 1999. From 1993 to 2004, production also was sourced from Edison Assembly in Edison, New Jersey. For its entire production run, the Ranger was produced at Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. The final 2012 Ford Ranger produced on December 16, 2011, ended 86 years of production at Twin Cities Assembly as well as the production of all compact pickups in the United States.

In 2017, Ford announced the return of the Ford Ranger to North America, commencing with the 2019 model year. Derived from the Ranger T6, the 2019 Ford Ranger will be manufactured in the United States.

Development

1975 Ford Courier

Ford Courier (1972–1982)

For the 1972 model year, the Ford Courier was introduced as the first compact pickup truck sold by Ford. Following the rise of the compact truck segment during the 1960s, Ford entered into a partnership with Mazda to market the Mazda B1800 in North America; the Courier would become the first of several jointly manufactured vehicles between the two companies from the 1970s into the 2000s. Along with minimizing the risk for Ford of developing a vehicle in an unfamiliar market segment, the partnership provided Mazda with critically needed funds.[2]

While sharing the cab and chassis with its Mazda counterpart, to increase its sales potential in North America, the Courier adapted design elements of the Ford F-Series, with twin round headlamps, silver grille, and "FORD" lettering on the hood above the grille. In 1977, the Courier and B1800 (later B2000) were redesigned with a larger cab, redesigned pickup bed, and tailgate. While closer in appearance to its Mazda counterpart, the Courier was given signal/parking lamps inset in the grille (rather than the bumper); an optional 2.3L Ford engine was not available the Mazda pickups.

From 1972 to 1982, the Ford Courier was manufactured alongside the Mazda B-Series in Hiroshima, Japan. To avoid the 25% "Chicken tax" on imported trucks, both vehicles were imported as cab-chassis trucks (taxed at 4% tariff). Following their importation to United States, pickup-truck beds shipped separately from Japan were installed before shipment to dealers.

Project Yuma: Ford Ranger development (1976–1982)

In 1976, Ford commenced development on "Project Yuma", intended to bring a domestically produced compact truck to production.[3][4][5] In addition to develop a successor for the Courier, the $700 million project was driven in an effort to comply with fuel economy standards of the mid-1980s.[5] At the beginning of Yuma, Ford predicted for that the company to properly comply with CAFE by 1985, nearly 50% of pickup trucks sold in the United States would require a 4-cylinder engine, leading from compact truck sales to expand from a 5% market share in 1976 to nearly 50% in 1985, with nearly a million sales per year.[4][5]

Project Yuma was centered around quality and fuel efficiency.[5] At the beginning of the project, Ford researched additional elements that were valued by potential compact truck buyers.[5] Along with the flexibility for both work and personal use, Ford found that buyers desired additional interior room, including three-across seating, comfortable seats, and headroom and legroom for a six-foot tall driver; other minor details were discovered such as five-bolt wheels and a larger ashtray.[3][5]

During design, the body underwent extensive wind tunnel testing, to meet a planned 20 MPG fuel efficiency target (the standard front bumper spoiler added 1MPG on its own).[5] To further improve fuel economy, the Ranger increased the use of high-strength steel other lightweight materials, including a magnesium clutch housing, aluminum transfer case for four-wheel drive versions, and a magnesium clutch/brake pedal bracket.[5] To further save weight, the design of the front suspension was computer-optimized, rendering the front stabilizer bar optional.[5] Though narrower than the F-Series and other full-size competitors, the cargo bed of the Ranger was designed to transport a four-foot wide sheet of material (considered an industry measure of space in pickup truck bed design) through the use of recesses to insert supports across the bed, allowing the Ranger to transport such material above the wheel wells.[5]

The 1979 fuel crisis nearly doomed the Yuma/Ranger project, as it occurred between launch of the 1979 Ford LTD and 1980 Ford F-Series. After selling nearly 1 million F-Series trucks in 1978, in 1980, Ford had yet to gain a profit from its redesign of the F-Series.[3] Ford President Don Petersen kept the compact truck project alive for several reasons. By 1980, General Motors had its own compact truck in development, with the Chevrolet S-10 providing close competition.[3] Peterson also felt the compact truck could be priced similar to the F-100, as he felt buyers would pay as much for a compact truck as a full-size one, if equipped correctly.[3]

Around 1980, the Project Yuma truck became known as the Ford Ranger, adopting the name of the mid to upper-level trim used by the Ford F-Series and Bronco since 1965. In anticipation of the compact truck line, 1981 marked the final use of the Ranger trim for the F-Series and Bronco (replaced by XLS for 1982).[6][7]

First generation (1983–1992)

First generation
1st-Ford-Ranger.jpg
1983–1988 Ford Ranger XLT
Overview
Production January 1982 – 1992
Model years 1983–1992[8]
Assembly Louisville, Kentucky, United States
St. Paul, Minnesota, United States
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door pickup truck
2-door extended-cab pickup truck
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission
Dimensions
Wheelbase Standard bed
107.9 in (2,741 mm)
Long bed
113.9 in (2,893 mm)
Supercab
125 in (3,175.0 mm)
Length Standard bed
1983–1988:175.6 in (4,460 mm)
1989–1992:176.5 in (4,483 mm)
Long bed
1983–1988:187.6 in (4,765 mm)
1989–1992:188.5 in (4,788 mm)
Supercab
1983–1988:192.7 in (4,895 mm)
1989–1992:193.6 in (4,917 mm)
Width 1983–1988: 66.9 in (1,699 mm)
1989–1992: 66.8 in (1,697 mm)

The first Ranger rolled off the Louisville assembly line on January 18, 1982.[9] While initially slated for a traditional autumn release, to more closely compete with the introduction of the Chevrolet S-10, Ford advanced the launch of the 1983 Ranger several months, with the first vehicles reaching showrooms in March 1982.[10]

Initially sold along its Courier predecessor, the first 1983 Ranger was priced at $6,203 ($16,570 in 2018)[4]. While far smaller in exterior size than the F-Series, 4x4 Rangers offered a payload of 1,600 pounds[11], matching or exceeding the F-100 in payload capacity.[12] For 1984, the Ford Bronco II two-door SUV was introduced. Similar in size to the 1966–1977 Bronco, the Bronco II used a shortened version of the Ranger chassis, along with much of its interior components.

For the 1989 model year, the Ranger underwent a major mid-cycle revision to improve its exterior aerodynamics and interior ergonomics. For 1991, the Ford Explorer SUV was derived from the facelifted Ranger, sharing its front fascia, chassis, and interior components.

Chassis specification

The first-generation Ranger uses a body-on-frame chassis design; while using a chassis developed specifically for the model line, the Ranger adopts many chassis design elements from the F-Series.[5] Along with traditional leaf-spring rear suspension, the Ranger is fitted with Twin I-Beam independent front suspension. To minimize unsprung weight, the Twin I-Beams were constructed of stamped high-strength steel (rather than forged steel).[4][5]

Rear-wheel drive was standard, with part-time four-wheel drive as an option (never offered in the Courier).[4][5] Dependent on configuration, the Ranger was produced in three wheelbases: 107.9 inches (6-foot bed), 113.9 inches (7-foot bed), and 125 inches (SuperCab, introduced in 1986).[11]

For 1989, rear-wheel anti-lock brakes became standard.[11][7]

Powertrain

From 1983 to 1992, the first-generation Ranger was powered by 2.0L and 2.3L versions of the Ford Pinto inline-4, the 2.8L, 2.9L, and 4.0L Ford Cologne V6, the 3.0L Ford Vulcan V6, and four-cylinder diesel engines sourced from Mazda (Perkins) and Mitsubishi.[11][7][13] Two long-running engines associated with the Ford light trucks made their debut in the first-generation Ranger; the twin spark-plug version (with distributorless ignition) of the Pinto engine was introduced in 1989, remaining in use through 2001.[14] In 1990, the 4.0L Cologne V6 was introduced; in modified form, the engine was used through the 2012 model-year discontinuation of the Ranger in North America.

A four-speed manual transmission was standard on all engines for 1983 and 1984, with a five-speed manual as an option; a three-speed automatic was offered on 2.3L and 2.8L engines. For 1985, the five-speed manual became the standard transmission, with a four-speed automatic offered on non-diesel Rangers.[11][13] For 1989, the Mazda M5OD-R1 transmission became the standard transmission

1983–1992 Ford Ranger engine specifications[11][7][13]
Engine Configuration Production Output[7]
Ford Pinto LL20 I4 121 cu in (2.0 L) SOHC I4 1983–1988 73 hp[4]
Ford Pinto LL23 I4 140 cu in (2.3 L) SOHC I4 1983–1984 (1-bbl)

1985–1992 (EFI)

1983–1984: 80 hp[4]1984–1988: 90 hp

1989–1992: 100 hp[14]

Ford Cologne V6 170 cu in (2.8 L) OHV V6

177 cu in (2.9 L) OHV V6

244 cu in (4.0 L) OHV V6

1983–1985 (2.8L)

1986–1992 (2.9L)

1990–1992 (4.0L)

2.8L: 115 hp

2.9L:

  • 140 hp (1986–1990)
  • 145 hp (1991–1992)

4.0L: 160 hp

Ford Vulcan V6 182 cu in (3.0 L) OHV V6 1991–1992 (RWD only) 140 hp[11]
Mazda S2 I4 diesel

(Perkins 4.135)

135 cu in (2.2 L) OHV I4

naturally aspirated, IDI

1983–1984 59 hp[13]
Mitsubishi 4D55 I4 diesel 143 cu in (2.3 L) SOHC I4

turbocharged, IDI

1985–1986 86 hp[13]

Body design

Slightly larger than the Courier, the first-generation Ranger was approximately 18 inches shorter and 11 inches narrower than an equivalently configured F-100/F-150.[5] While proportioned similar to the Chevrolet S-10 and Japanese-sourced compact trucks, adopted exterior design elements from the F-Series, including its twin headlamps, chrome grille, tailgate lettering, taillamps, and cab proportions.[11] In line with the Courier, the Ranger was offered with two pickup bed sizes; a standard 6-foot length and an extended 7-foot length. In 1986, a third configuration was introduced, as the Ranger SuperCab extended cab was introduced. Stretched 17 inches behind the front doors for additional cab space, the SuperCab was offered with the 6-foot bed length; four-wheel drive SuperCabs were sold only with V6 engines.[11]

During its production, the first-generation Ranger was offered with several seating configurations. A three-passenger bench seat was standard, with various types of bucket seats offered (dependent on trim level). As part of the 1989 mid-cycle update, a 40/60 split-bench seat was introduced.[11][7] The SuperCab was offered with a pair of center-facing jump seats, expanding capacity to five.[7]

From 1983 to 1988, the interior saw few major revisions. In 1986, the instrument cluster was revised, allowing the fitment of a tachometer. To streamline production, the Ranger shared interior components with other Ford vehicles, sharing the steering column, door handles, and window controls from the Ford Escort, Ford F-Series, and Ford Bronco; nearly the entire driver's compartment of the Ford Bronco II was directly sourced from the Ranger.

For 1989, the Ranger underwent a mid-cycle redesign with new front fenders, a restyled hood and grille, and flush-mounted composite headlamps (with larger marker lamps). To further improve aerodynamics, the front bumper was redesigned and enlarged to fit more closely with the front fenders.[11][7] The interior was given a redesign, including new door panels, new seats, and an all-new dashboard (introducing a glovebox).[11][7] To improve ergonomics, the instrument panel was redesigned for improved legibility, with automatic transmission Rangers receiving a column-mounted gearshift; manual-transmission versions saw the removal of the key-release button from the steering column.

Trim

The first-generation Ranger was marketed in five trim levels: Ranger S, Ranger, Ranger XL, Ranger XLS, and Ranger XLT. Intended largely for fleet sales, the Ranger S (introduced in 1984[7]) was offered with virtually no available options. While still largely a work truck, the Ranger XL offered color-keyed trim, floor mats, and chrome bumpers. The XLS was marketed as the sportiest version of the Ranger, offering bucket seats, blackout trim, and tape stripe packages (essentially the successor to the 1970s "Free Wheeling" trims) while the XLT was offered with two-tone exteriors, chrome exterior trim, and upgraded interior trim.[11]

The Ranger STX was introduced in 1985 for Ranger 4x4s on the West Coast of the United States, becoming fully available for 1986. Offering a "sport" suspension and larger tires, the STX was denoted by the offering of a bucket-seat interior and model-specific two-tone paint scheme.[11]

Ranger GT

Following an initial late 1986 introduction in California, Ford marketed the Ranger GT option package from 1987 to 1989.[15] Marketed as a "sport pickup", the Ranger GT was offered only for regular-cab two-wheel drive Rangers. Powered by a 140 hp 2.9L V6 (paired with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission)[15], the Ranger GT was equipped with front and rear anti-roll bars, a limited-slip differential, and performance tires.[15] Initially offered for short-bed Rangers, the Ranger GT package became available for long-bed two-wheel drive Rangers.

The Ranger GT was available in either red, white, or blue paint colors; chrome trim was painted body color. In 1988, the exterior was modified, with a ground effects package, including a redesigned body-color front bumper, allowing for integrated fog lamps.[15]

For 1990, the Ranger GT was discontinued; a one-off prototype was constructed in 1989 by the Ford Truck Public Affairs office, using a V6 from a Ford Taurus SHO and a 5-speed transmission from a Mustang GT.[16][17]

Second generation (1993–1997)

Second Generation
97Vermillion.jpg
Overview
Also called Mazda B-Series
Production August 1992 – July 1997
Model years 1993–1997
Assembly Louisville, Kentucky, United States
St. Paul, Minnesota, United States
Edison, New Jersey, United States
General Pacheco, Argentina
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door compact
2-door extended
Powertrain
Engine 2.3 L OHC I4
3.0 L Vulcan V6
4.0 L Cologne V6
Transmission Manual
5-speed Mazda M5OD-R1
Automatic
4-speed A4LD
4-speed 4R44E
4-speed 4R55E
5-speed 5R55E
Dimensions
Wheelbase 107.9 in (2,741 mm)
113.9 in (2,893 mm)
125.2 in (3,180 mm)
Length 184.3 in (4,681 mm)
196.3 in (4,986 mm)
198.2 in (5,034 mm)
Width 69.4 in (1,763 mm)

The redesign in 1992 for 1993 featured mild restyling, flush-mounted door glass, wider doors, and slight fender flares. The 1989-style dashboard remained, but the seats and door panels were new. A six digit odometer was added for 1994. The 2.9-liter engine was discontinued. The engines offered were offered in displacements of 2.3, 3.0 and 4.0 liters. A new "Splash" model was introduced, which had a flare side bed, unique chrome wheels, 1-inch (25 mm) lowered rear suspension and a 2-inch (51 mm) lowered front suspension (on 4x2 models), and special vinyl "Splash" decals on the sides and the tailgate.

The 1993 Splash trim level was offered with regular cab in arctic white, gloss black, red orange, and sky blue. The Mazda B-Series became a re-badged Ranger for the 1994 model year, but the Mazda B-Series did not offer an equivalent to the Splash model. While 1993 Rangers used R-12 Freon, 1994 model year saw the transition to CFC-free air-conditioning systems in compliance with the Clean Air Act. For the 1994 model year, the Splash trim had options which all included; a 1-inch (25 mm) lowered rear suspension and 2-inch (51 mm) lowered front suspension (on 4x2 models), flare side bed, an extended cab, and unique chrome wheels. The decals also underwent subtle changes. While the 1993–1994 models sported red, yellow and blue stripes, the 1995 to 1996 models had lime green stripes. Additionally, the available colors for the Splash model changed from the 1993–1994 models to the 1995–1997 models. The latter were offered in maroon, gloss black, white, and canary yellow.

Fall 1994 production (1995 model year) included a steering wheel modified to include a driver's side airbag and a redesigned dashboard which included a double DIN radio head unit. Also for 1995 (model year), SuperCab trucks could have a power driver's seat. The A4LD transmission was updated. 2.3- and 3.0-liter models got the 4R44E, while 4.0-liter trucks got the 4R55E. The front brakes were changed to use the same two-piston brake calipers as the second-generation Explorer, and four-wheel anti-lock brakes were added as standard on 4x4 and 4.0-liter models. From October 1995 (1996 model year), an optional passenger airbag (the first compact truck to offer one) became available, with a key-operated cutoff switch that allowed the airbag to be turned off for smaller passengers riding in the front seat. In October 1996, the 1997 model year brought in the first ever five-speed automatic transmission to be used by an American manufacturer. The 4.0-liter models were equipped with the 5R55E, while the 3.0-liter was still mated to the 4R44E.

Powertrain
  • 1994 – 2.3 L (2311 cc) OHC I4, 98 hp (73 kW), 133 lb⋅ft (180 N⋅m)
  • 1995–1997 – 2.3 L (2311 cc) OHC I4, 112 hp (84 kW), 135 lb⋅ft (183 N⋅m)
  • 1994–1996 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 145 hp (108 kW), 165 lb⋅ft (224 N⋅m)
  • 1994–1997 – 4.0 L (4016 cc) Cologne V6, 160 hp (119 kW), 225 lb⋅ft (305 N⋅m)

Mazda B-Series

Mazda B2300 extended cab (US)

For 1994, the third-generation Mazda B-Series was introduced. While the company continued to manufacture its own trucks in Japan and internationally, the North American version of the B-Series was now a badge-engineered version of the Ranger. The new B3000 and B4000 boasted Ford V6 engines, and the M5OD-R1 manual transmission returning to the options sheet. Extended cab models were available, as was four-wheel drive; Mazda made the B-Series available in two trim lines, LE and SE. The 3.0-liter B3000 was dropped for 1997.

Third generation (1998–2012)

Third Generation
98-00 Ford Ranger.jpg
Overview
Also called Mazda B-Series
Production August 1997 – December 16, 2011
Model years 1998–2012
Assembly St. Paul, Minnesota, United States
Edison, New Jersey, United States
General Pacheco, Argentina
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door compact
2-door extended (1998–2011)
2+2-door extended (1999–2011)
4-door crew cab (South America)
Powertrain
Engine
Transmission Manual
5-speed Mazda M5OD-R1
Automatic
4-speed 4R44E
5-speed 5R55E
Dimensions
Wheelbase 111.6 in (2,835 mm)
117.6 in (2,987 mm)
125.9 in (3,198 mm)
Length 188.5 in (4,788 mm)
200.5 in (5,093 mm)
202.9 in (5,154 mm)
Width 70.3 in (1,786 mm)
Height 68.3 in (1,735 mm)
69.4 in (1,763 mm)

In 1997 for the 1998 model year, the Ranger got a major update to the same body design, by giving it a longer wheelbase and a 3-inch (76 mm) longer cab for the regular cab models (part of which provided more room in the interior). The 1995 to 1997 model year interior look was retained. The Twin I-Beam front suspension was replaced by the wishbone-style system found on the Explorer and the front half of the frame was of "boxed", rather than C-channel construction. Rack and pinion steering was also added. The four-cylinder engine was increased to a 2.5-liter SOHC I4, giving it a 6% increase in power over the old 2.3-liter. It produced 117 hp (87 kW) and 149 lb⋅ft (202 N⋅m) of torque. Also, for the 2000 model year, amber rear turn signals were discontinued. 4x4 models were equipped with a PVH lockout system for the front axles. This system proved to be rather unreliable and was changed to a live axle setup in mid-2000.

The 2.5-liter engine was replaced by a new DOHC 2.3-liter Duratec inline-four in mid-2001. 2001 also saw the pushrod 4.0-liter V6 replaced by the SOHC version from the Explorer, bringing with it a more durable M5OD-R1HD manual transmission. Also in 2001, the five-speed automatic transmission that was introduced in 1997 for the 4.0-liter V6, was now also available with the 2.3- and 3.0-liter units. The Ranger received a facelift, including a new grille, hood, and front bumper, as well as updated headlights and taillights. SLP produced a version of the Ranger, called "Thunderbolt". This model included different options, such as a unique front and rear bumper, air intake, exhaust and even a spoiler.

In 2004, the Ranger received minor updates to the grille, hood, and front bumper. New front bucket seats were also added in 2004 to meet the new U.S. Federal safety requirements. It retained the dashboard lines of the previous years trucks with an instrument cluster change. In 2006, the Ranger received more minor updates to the grille, front side markers and taillights, along with a bigger rear Ford logo that was now centered in the tailgate. It also received new larger mirrors similar to those found on other Ford trucks and SUVs.

The latest Ranger offered a 143 hp (107 kW) 2.3-liter inline-four and a 207 hp (154 kW) 4.0-liter V6. The 3.0-liter Vulcan V6 was discontinued as of the 2009 model year. Ford uses code "R10" through "R19" in the fifth, sixth, and seventh VIN positions for all Rangers; R10, R14, and R18 are all rear-wheel drive; regular cab, two-door SuperCab, and four-door SuperCab respectively. R11, R15, and R19 are four-wheel drive; regular cab, two-door SuperCab, four-door SuperCab respectively.

In December 2009, Ford announced that specially designed custom graphics would be applied to the Ranger, beginning with the 2010 models. The feature was exclusive to Ford Dealers and allowed customers to pick a design that they wanted customized for their Ranger trims.[18]

For the 2011 and 2012 model year, the level trims were adjusted. The XL trim has the standard level, followed by the XLT and Sport trims. The latter two included Sirius radio as an optional feature.[19]

The Ford Ranger was the first small pickup to introduce dual airbags as safety features.[20] It received an "acceptable" frontal crash test rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when they were first tested in 1998, while many of its competitors received "marginal" or "poor" ratings at that time. The exception was the Toyota Tacoma, which also got an "acceptable" rating.[21][22]

The 2010 model year brought the addition of front seat combination head and torso airbags to improve passenger safety in a side-impact collision and earned "good" rating through the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's side impact test. Also, electronic stability control was added for the 2010 models as standard equipment.[23]

In the Roof Strength Test conducted by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Ford Ranger earned an Acceptable rating.[24]

FX4 Level II

The FX4 Level II version comes with a special 31-spline 8.8-inch (223.5 mm) Ford 8.8 rear axle equipped with a Zexel-Torsen limited-slip differential, three skid plates, upgraded tow hooks, 31" BFGoodrich All Terrains, 15-inch forged Alcoa wheels, and Bilstein shocks. Inside, the Level II package added two-tone cloth seats, optional leather and rubber floors along with a six-CD MP3 headunit as standard options. The FX4 level II package was first available in 2003, though, in 2002 the very first "FX4" package, however, not the Level II, was available. The 2002 FX4 off-road package is identical to the 2003+ FX4 Level II package, since there wasn't a FX4 Level II package offered. The FX4 off-road package did differ from the FX4 Level II package after 2002. The 2002 FX4 off-road and 2003 FX4 Level II are often referred to be the "Holy Grail" of Rangers,[by whom?] since there were limited production of these trucks with both a manual transmission and manual 4x4. According to Ford, 17,971 Level IIs were built from 2002 through 2007 (including the 2002[clarification needed]), and 45,172 of the Off Roads were built from 2003 to 2009. The FX4 Off Road was available into 2009, but the Level II was stopped after 2007, though many Level II features could be ordered individually. In 2010 the Ranger discontinued the FX4 trim level for the U.S. market, but it remained available in the Canadian market.

The above pictures are of a 2006+ FX4 level 1. A Level II has a special "Level II" decal just behind the front wheels in the secondary paint color, as well as chrome "J" tow hooks.

Ford Ranger EV
Ranger EV
1998–2001 Mazda B4000 extended cab (North America)
2002–2009 Mazda B3000 regular cab (US)

The Ford Ranger EV was a battery electric version of the Ranger produced for model years 1998 to 2002. The chassis of the four-wheel drive model was used, but the Ranger EV was strictly a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Unlike other versions, the EV featured a de Dion rear suspension. 1998 models employed lead-acid batteries while subsequent models used Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries.

The Ranger EV is nearly indistinguishable from a standard Ranger, except for its grille. On EV models, a door for a charging port is located on the right third of the grille.

Powertrain
  • 1998– 1999 – 2.5 L (2507 cc) OHC I4, 117 hp (87 kW), 149 lb⋅ft (202 N⋅m)
  • 2000– early 2001 – 2.5 L (2507 cc) OHC I4, 119 hp (89 kW), 146 lb⋅ft (198 N⋅m)
  • late 2001–2002 – 2.3 L (2300 cc) Duratec I4, 135 hp (101 kW), 153 lb⋅ft (207 N⋅m)
  • 2003–2010 – 2.3 L (2300 cc) Duratec I4, 143 hp (107 kW), 154 lb⋅ft (209 N⋅m)
  • 1998–1999 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 145 hp (108 kW), 178 lb⋅ft (241 N⋅m)
  • 2000–2001 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 150 hp (112 kW), 190 lb⋅ft (258 N⋅m)
  • 2002 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 146 hp (109 kW), 180 lb⋅ft (244 N⋅m)
  • 2003–2004 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 154 hp (115 kW), 180 lb⋅ft (244 N⋅m)
  • 2005–2008 – 3.0 L (2957 cc) Vulcan V6, 148 hp (110 kW), 180 lb⋅ft (244 N⋅m)
  • 1998–2000 – 4.0 L (4025 cc) Cologne V6, 160 hp (119 kW), 225 lb⋅ft (305 N⋅m)
  • 2001–2010 – 4.0 L (4025 cc) Cologne V6, 207 hp (154 kW), 238 lb⋅ft (323 N⋅m)

Mazda B-Series

North America saw a redesigned B-Series again for 1998, with a larger base engine. A five-speed automatic transmission was available. The 1999 B-Series added four doors, a first in the extended-cab pickup truck market. In 2001, a more powerful SOHC version of the 4.0-liter V6 replaced the old OHV engine, while Ford's Duratec engine replaced the Lima engine in four-cylinder models the following year. 2007 was the last year for 3.0-liter B-Series trucks. For 2010, the B4000 Cab Plus SE model was discontinued in the United States. The full B-Series lineup was discontinued, in the United States, at the end of the 2009 model year, while the Ford Ranger remained in production.[25] The B-Series was sold in the Canadian market for one more model year.

The last Mazda B-Series rolled off the assembly line on December 11, 2009.

Fourth generation (2019-)

Fourth generation
Ford Ranger 2018 NAIAS.jpg
Ford Ranger SuperCrew FX4
Overview
Manufacturer Ford
Production 2018 (to commence)
Model years 2019-
Assembly United States: Wayne, Michigan (Michigan Assembly Plant)
Body and chassis
Body style Mid-size pickup truck
Platform Ford T6 platform
Related Ford Ranger (T6)
Ford Everest
Ford Bronco (2020)
Powertrain
Engine Ford 2.3L EcoBoost turbo I4
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 127 in (3,226 mm)
Length 211 in (5,359 mm)
Width 73 in (1,854 mm)
Height 71 in (1,803 mm)

In January 2018, one year after announcing the production return of the Ford Ranger to North America, Ford introduced the 2019 Ford Ranger at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, marking the first Ford entry into the mid-size pickup truck segment.[3] Entering production during 2018, the fourth-generation Ford Ranger will go on sale by 2019.[3] In place of commercial use, Ford seeks to market the Ranger to private buyers using the truck for recreation; creating a vehicle for those who seek a vehicle smaller than a full-size truck, along with F-Series owners seeking a vehicle with a smaller exterior footprint.[3]

Chassis

The 2019 Ford Ranger is derived from the Ford T6 global midsize truck architecture designed by Ford of Australia. While already designed to accommodate left-hand drive use, the T6 chassis underwent further modifications for use in North America. To better accommodate American crash standards and increase its payload, the frame was revised to include fully boxed frame rails.[3] All versions of the Ranger sold in North America have a 127-inch wheelbase, regardless of cab or drivetrain configuration.[3]

For North American production, the Ranger T6 is produced with a single powertrain. Shared with the Ford Explorer and Ford Mustang, the Ranger is powered by a 2.3L EcoBoost inline-4. For the Ranger, the engine produces 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque (10 fewer horsepower than the Explorer).[26][27] The engine is paired to a 10-speed 10R80 automatic transmission; shared with the Mustang GT and F-150 with the EcoBoost V6 or V8 engine.[27]

For 2019 production, no Duratorq or EcoBlue diesel engines are announced for the North American version of the T6 Ranger nor are any alternative gasoline engines.

Body

2019 Ford Ranger XLT SuperCab FX4

The 2019 Ford Ranger will be sold in four-door SuperCab and four-door SuperCrew configurations (Ford has no plans to market a two-door Ranger in North America).[3][28] While externally similar to its global counterpart, the 2019 Ford Ranger features a number of exterior design changes. Most visibly, the front fascia was redesigned with a frame-mounted steel bumper. At the minor expense of frontal aerodynamics, the sturdier front bumper was designed to better comply with American crash standards.[28] To better market the vehicle towards private buyers in North America, the Ranger was given a distinct hood design and grilles related to trim level.[3] Additional trim included color-contrasting fender molding and fender grilles (in line with the F-Series trucks).[28] The "RANGER"-embossed tailgate was modified; in the interest of aerodynamics, adding a spoiler (sharing the locking tailgate handle from the F-150).[28]

The interior of the global Ranger was also revised slightly. To comply with American safety mandates, a rearview safety camera is standard along with automatic emergency braking.[28] Several sizes of interior touchscreens are offered, depending on trim packages ordered.[27][28] To increase interior storage, waterproof storage compartments were added under the rear seats.[27]

As the global Ford Ranger was designed before the current F-Series, usage of aluminum in the body is minor, with only an aluminum hood and tailgate.[28]

Trim

The 2019 Ford Ranger shares the trim levels of the previous American Ford Ranger and the Ford F-Series: base XL, mid-level XLT, and top-trim Lariat. To supplement each trim level, Chrome, Sport, and FX option packages are offered for all three trim levels.[29]

South America

1998–2003 Ford Ranger double cab (South America)
2004–2009 Ford Ranger double cab (South America)
2010–2012 Ford Ranger double cab (South America)

Starting in 1998, Ford began to phase out the Ford Courier name on its Mazda-produced compact pickups sold globally in favor of the Ranger nameplate (though the Courier remained in use in Australia). Consequently, exports of the North American-produced Ranger were primarily limited to South America, including Argentina, Brazil, and Chile.[1]

In 1995 Ford began exports of the Ranger from the United States to Argentina; initial exports started with two-door SuperCab equipped with the 4.0-liter gasoline Cologne V6. As demand increased, Ford made the decision to produce it locally in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the Ford General Pacheco Assembly Plant for the local market, Canada and subsequently for the rest of Latin America.[30]

The first Rangers produced at General Pacheco were built in 1996 with a single cab, gasoline engine version. By November 1997, supply was increased with both diesel and gasoline engines, two-wheel and four-wheel drive and different levels of equipment.

After two years of local production in Argentina, in 1998, Ford of Argentina introduced a redesigned version of the Ford Ranger. Featuring the same updates as its counterpart in the United States, a new four-door double cab body variant exclusive to South America made its debut.[31] As Ford was developing the functionally similar Ford Explorer Sport Trac at the time, the double-cab Ford Ranger was not produced or marketed in the United States or Canada.

To better match the needs of local buyers, Ford of Argentina offered three different turbodiesel powertrain options, including a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel with 115 hp (85 kW) starting in 1998, a 2.8-liter with 135 hp (99 kW) starting in 2002 and a 3.0-liter with 163 hp (122 kW) and 280 lb⋅ft (380 N⋅m) of torque mated to an Eaton FSO-2405-A five-speed manual transmission starting in 2004.

The 2001 exterior facelift given to North American Rangers was not carried over to South American versions, with the 1998 front bodywork remaining until the 2003 model year. For 2004, both versions were given the same grille (though Argentine-produced versions were designed with projector-style headlamps).

Following a US$156.5 million upgrade to the General Pacheco factory in 2007,[32] several upgrades were made to the South American Ranger; a number of them would diverge the model from its US counterpart. For 2008, the Ranger received a makeover with a grill and headlights similar to the 2006 North American version; bed extenders became available for all boxes.[33]

For 2010, the Ranger was given its largest facelift since 1992. To allow for a more aggressive stance, the hood, front fenders, and front bumper were replaced with a more aggressive and rounded design, including large wheel arches; on the doors, the handles were replaced by a pull-out design. For the first time, the Ranger wore the Ford corporate three-bar grille. Inside, the interior design introduced in 2008 remained, with both previous engine configurations.[34][35] A new option (for Argentina and Brazil) included an engine powered by compressed natural gas, making it the first pickup truck to offer a factory-built natural gas vehicle (NGV) commercially available in those countries.[34][36]

In 2012, Ford of Argentina replaced the US-derived Ranger with the larger Ranger T6. Designed by Ford of Australia, the Ranger T6 consolidated the Ford- and Mazda-based versions of the Ranger onto a single platform sold globally outside the United States and Canada.

Ford Ranger (Argentina) wheelbases and bed lengths:[37]

  • 1998–2012 – 111.5 inches (2,831 mm) – 6 ft. bed (1,732mm) Single Cab
  • 1998–2012 – 117.6 inches (2,987 mm) – 7 ft. bed (2,129mm) Single Cab
  • 1998–2012 – 125.7 inches (3,192 mm) – 5 ft. bed (1,467mm) Double Cab

Engines:[37]

Engine Years Power Torque
2.3 L Duratec HE gasoline I4 2004–present 148 hp (110 kW) 159 lb⋅ft (216 N⋅m)
3.0 L Power Stroke diesel I4 2004–present 163 hp (122 kW) 280 lb⋅ft (380 N⋅m)

Discontinuation and revival

Discontinuation

In the summer of 2005, alongside the update for the 2006 model-year U.S. Ranger, the first information emerged about its intended replacement.[38] Designed under the P273 codename as a 2010 model-year vehicle, the new Ranger was designed as a global vehicle, intended to replace three versions of the Ranger: the related North American and Latin American versions, along with the rebadged version designed by Mazda sold through much of the rest of the world. In 2007, the Thai market received a Ranger based on the 4Trac concept vehicle. Designed by Ford Australia, the Ford Ranger T6 began production in 2011 in AutoAlliance in Rayong, Thailand. While the Ranger T6 was initially released as a global vehicle, it was not sold in the United States or Canada, leaving the compact Ranger without a successor.

In 2008, Ford made its first plans to end production of the Ranger in North America; although its high productivity spared it from The Way Forward, Twin Cities Assembly (built in 1925) was the oldest Ford factory worldwide.[39] Ford later extended the closure date of the factory to 2011, but in June 2011, a final closure date was announced.[40] As Twin Cities was the sole production location of the Ranger in North America (from 1982), its closure brought the production of the Ranger to an end after 29 model years. The 2011 model year was the final model year for retail sales, with a shortened 2012 model year for fleet sales; the final North American-market Ranger (a white SuperCab Sport produced for pest-control company Orkin) was produced on December 16, 2011.[41]

While the global Ranger T6 underwent development in the late 2000s, it was ultimately rejected for the North American market for several reasons. Although compact pickup trucks had grown in size in the 2000s (notably the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma) in the early 2000s (in comparison to the Ranger and Chevrolet S10), the global Ranger was seen as dimensionally a mid-size truck.[42] While potentially offering Ford a competitor to the Dodge Dakota for the first time, Ford also felt a mid-size truck of its own would threaten sales of the Ford F-150, the best-selling vehicle in the United States.[42] Another factor in its decision was the overall decline of the compact truck segment, from 8% of total market sales in 1994 to 2% in 2010.[42]

According to its market research, toward the end of its production, Ford discovered that most Ford Ranger buyers were not buying the Ranger as a truck, but for its low price as a new vehicle.[40][42] Along with its plans to increase F-Series fuel economy, Ford sought to retain Ranger buyers with the Ford Fiesta and Ford Transit Connect.[42]

Revival

In 2015, as part of contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers, leaked reports over the future of the Michigan Assembly Plant included the potential decision of replacing Ford Focus and Ford C-Max production with an American-market version of the global Ford Ranger.[43] Along with the revival of the Ranger nameplate, the UAW negotiations also included a potential revival of the Ford Bronco SUV.[44]

At the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Ford confirmed the return of the Ford Ranger and Ford Bronco, with the Ford Ranger as a 2019 model-year vehicle.[45] The production 2019 Ford Ranger was unveiled one year later, at the 2018 North American International Auto Show.

The new 2019 Ford Ranger has a single powertrain package under its twin-power-dome hood: Ford's 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, mated a 10-speed automatic transmission – an exclusive in the segment. The engine features direct fuel injection, a twin-scroll turbocharger and four valves per cylinder, for enhanced efficiency and capability.[46]

Variants

1992–1997 Ford Aerostar
1983–1990 Ford Bronco II
1998–2001 Mercury Mountaineer
1991–1993 Mazda Navajo
Ford Aerostar

For the 1986 model year, the Ford Aerostar was launched as the first minivan from Ford Motor Company. While built using a separate chassis architecture, the Aerostar sourced many components from the Ranger and its derivatives, including engines (all engines except the 2.9L V6) and transmissions. Other minor interior components were shared between the Ranger and Aerostar.

The Aerostar was sold through the 1997 model year, replaced by the front-wheel drive Ford Windstar and Mercury Villager (the former deriving components from the Ford Taurus).

Ford Bronco II

For the 1978 model year, the Ford Bronco transitioned from a compact SUV to a full-size SUV derived from the Ford F-100. To re-enter the segment vacated by the Bronco, a compact SUV was developed alongside the Ranger.[5] Introduced for the 1984 model year, the Ford Bronco II was slightly longer and wider than the first-generation Bronco, using a shortened 4x4 Ranger chassis.

In sharp contrast to the spartan original, the Bronco II offered all of the convenience features available on the Ranger. Unlike its larger namesake, the Bronco II was not designed with a removable roof, including large side windows which extended into the rear roofline. From the B-pillars forward, the Bronco II shared its interior with the Ranger (with the exception of badging). For 1989, the Bronco II shared the front fascia and interior of the facelifted Ranger.

As part of a redesign, the Bronco II was enlarged for the 1991 model year, becoming the Ford Explorer Sport (alongside the four-door Ford Explorer).

Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer/Mazda Navajo
1991–1994 Ford Explorer XLT
1994 Ford Explorer Sport

For the 1991 model year, the Bronco II was redesigned for wider market appeal, becoming the Ford Explorer. To increase its appeal as a family vehicle, a five-door version was introduced; the three-door was renamed the Ford Explorer Sport. While the Ranger chassis remained in use, the Explorer was much longer than the Bronco II (mostly as a result of the second set of doors). As before, the Ranger and Explorer shared interiors and other components, though visible parts commonality was reduced over the Bronco II. In 1995, as part of a major redesign, the Ranger front bodywork was removed; the Explorer became the first Ford truck to end the use of Twin I-Beam front suspension.

Alongside the five-door Ford Explorer, Ford re-introduced the Bronco II with a three-door version of the Explorer for 1991. The three-door was sold under the Explorer and Explorer Sport names. To address the stability problems of the Bronco II, the three-door Explorer had an 8-inch longer wheelbase and was nearly a full foot longer in length. In contrast to the unique roofline of the Bronco II, the three-door Explorer wore a similar roofline to the five-door, with a raked "C-pillar" as an identifying feature. In 1998, the popularity of the Explorer Sport was noted, as the name was adopted for all three-door Explorers. For 2001, the Sport was given its own front-end styling (shared with the Sport Trac). Due to the declining popularity of three-door SUVs, the Explorer Sport was not redesigned alongside the five-door Explorer for 2002, with the facelifted 2001 version ending production in 2003.

From 1991 to 1994, Mazda sold the three-door Explorer as the Mazda Navajo. Equipped similar to the Explorer Sport and Explorer XLT three-door, the Navajo differed largely in exterior trim and wheels, with the interior differing only in the instrument panel lettering. Due to the slow sales of three-door SUVs, the Mazda Navajo was discontinued during the 1994 model year.

In 1997, the Mercury division introduced the Mercury Mountaineer as a badge-engineered version of the Ford Explorer five-door; it was sold until the discontinuation of the Mercury brand in 2010. As part of the development of the 2002 third-generation Ford Explorer, Ford developed a dedicated mid-size SUV chassis for the Explorer and Mountaineer, ending their use of the Ranger chassis after the 2001 model year.

Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Ford Explorer Sport Trac

For the 2000 model year, Ford introduced the Ford Explorer Sport Trac as its first crew-cab compact pickup in North America. Though Ford already produced a crew-cab Ranger in Argentina, the Explorer Sport Trac was intended as a personal-use vehicle rather than a work vehicle. The Explorer Sport Trac was a combination of several vehicles: the Ranger long-wheelbase chassis, the Explorer Sport front bodywork, F-150 tailgate, an all-new composite bed, and a cab formed from the five-door Explorer.

As with the Ranger and Explorer three-door, the first generation Sport Trac was powered solely by V6 engines, with a 4.6-liter Modular V8 option beginning for model year 2006, though both two and four-wheel drive configurations were available. In 2006, the Explorer Sport Trac adopted the Ford mid-size SUV platform, ending the production of the Ranger-based Explorer; in 2010, the model was discontinued.

Sales

Ford Ranger sales (1985-2012)[47]
Calendar year US sales
1985 247,042
1986 269,490
1987 305,295
1988 298,579
1989 184,125
1990 280,610
1991 233,503
1992 247,777
1993 340,184
1994 344,744
1995 309,085
1996 288,393
1997[48] 298,796
1998[49] 328,136
1999[50] 348,358
2000 330,125
2001[51] 272,460
2002[52] 226,094
2003 209,117
2004[53] 156,322
2005 120,958
2006[54] 92,420
2007 72,711
2008[55] 65,872
2009[56] 55,600
2010[57] 55,364
2011[58] 70,832
2012 19,366

References

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External links

  • Ford Ranger official web site
  • Specifications and technical data
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