Ford unveils future Ranger pickup for segment rivals dominate

From Reuters - January 13, 2018

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N) on Sunday will officially take the wraps off its long-awaited Ranger midsize pickup truck, a year ahead of its arrival in showrooms, as rivals consolidate positions in a segment Detroit automakers once gave up for dead.

Ford executives did not disclose prices or fuel efficiency ratings for the new Ranger during a briefing for the media ahead of the official unveiling at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

More than two years ago Ford telegraphed its decision to re-launch the Ranger midsize truck in North America after killing the model in 2011. At the time, Ford executives said they could satisfy pickup truck demand - and make more money - by widening the price range and engine options of its larger F-150 pickup model line. Detroit rivals General Motors Co(GM.N) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV(FCHA.MI) abandoned the segment around the same time.

However, in late 2014, GM launched new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Sierra pickups, and Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp(7203.T) and Nissan Motor Co(7201.T) reinvigorated their midsize pickup trucks, aiming at customers who wanted to haul bikes, surfboards and other bulky recreational gear, not sheets of plywood.

As gasoline prices stabilized, more customers turned to the new, smaller pickups. GM in 2017 sold more than 145,000 Colorado and Canyon trucks. Toyota, the segment leader, sold more than 198,000 Tacoma trucks in 2017, up 3.4 percent from a year earlier and 27 percent ahead of 2014, according to figures compiled by Autodata.


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