Midsize pickups were the most advanced car segment in America that do not offer third-line functionality. The jeep entered with the Gladiator. Ram also has plans to return to the game. Even Volkswagen is dipping its toes into the US market to gauge interest. In this context, Ford reviving the Ranger seemed like an obvious move. But judging by the first sales figures, the launch was not so successful.
Ford boasted earlier this year about the plants that work "overtime" to build the Rangers and more than 300,000 expressions of interest online. This intended interest, however, did not materialize in actual vehicle sales, with Ford selling only 15,169 Rangers until April 2019. For the prospect, Nissan sold 24,479 Borders during that period. The infamous Frontier is anything but new – the second generation has been in production since 2004.
Why the discomfort of Ranger sales? It is not very clear. The Ranger largely matches the competition in performance and price. The truck received positive reviews. We at Gear Patrol saw the Ranger as a legitimate competitor and genuine competitor to Tacoma. Then there was a recall of Rangers in March for problems with the gear lever. Granted, this recall was small (3,000 vehicles) and did not cause reported incidents. It's hard to see this being a factor.
The remainder of this midsize truck market did not fall in 2019 and does not appear to be over-saturated. Both Tacoma (78,558) and Colorado (45,149) are on track to surpass 2018 sales records. Demand for the new Gladiator must be massive, with predicted residual values meaning you can lease one for virtually nothing.
Maybe Ford lost the chance to make a statement in an enthusiast segment for not bringing another Ford Ranger Raptor (leaving it to third parties)? Maybe there was a problem getting trucks to dealers? These numbers seem strange.
Gear Patrol also recommends:
2019 Ford Ranger ($ 24,300 +)
Toyota Tacoma ($ 25,700 +)
Honda Ridgeline ($ 29,990 +)