When Ford retired the Ranger in 2011, industry watchers were surprised that it didn’t introduce a replacement vehicle…something like a smaller companion to the wildly popular full-sized F-150. Buyers looking for a smaller pickup had to leave the Ford portfolio and consider the GMC Canyon, Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Pathfinder or the Honda Ridgeline. The good news is that the Ranger is back as of 2019, but more mid-sized than the previous Ranger, and the marketplace seemingly can’t get enough of it.
While auto makers are busy cutting production at factories that make sedans, Ford has said that it’s now scheduling “massive overtime” at the factory in Detroit that makes the Ranger (a factory repurposed from the model it formerly made, the Focus) to meet strong U.S. demand. Kumar Galhotra, president of North American operations, told reporters this week that orders are outstripping supply.
“Based on the orders coming in, and based on the hand-raisers, we think the demand’s going to be so strong,” Galhotra said.
Ford is taking clues on expected demand for the new Ranger from Internet car shoppers. Galhotra indicated that 300,000 online shoppers have so far expressed interest in the new Ranger.
“Starting in February, just in a few days, our Wayne Assembly plant where this product is made will be going into massive overtime,” said Galhotra, who noted that Ford is now putting 90 percent of its capital expenditure into producing trucks and SUVs in response to consumer preferences. “That is fantastic news.”
Few shoppers have gotten a good look at the 2019 Ranger, just the 24,300 starting price tag. (But here’s a video review of it by TFL Truck.) This is expected to change beginning this weekend as Ford plans to show the new model at the Philadelphia Auto Show, which kicks off on Saturday, February 2nd.