It’s been eight long years since the last Ford Ranger rolled off the Twin Cities assembly line in December 2011; so long, in fact, that the Ranger has lost a presence of mind for any non-owning members of the populous. Punctuating the hiatus from the market, the all-new 2019 model year has officially rolled into the production lines for a run of showroom models to rollout at stores across the nation.
The new Ranger is beginning its bright, new future on the lines of the Wayne, Michigan assembly plant; the same plant used for the Focus and C-Max; the same plant that will run production on the new Bronco in 2020, according to Motortrend. Ford is positioning itself deeper in the compact segment of the auto market with the inception of the all-new Ranger and it’s positioning is starting to become clear as to the direction the company is headed.
The introduction of the new Ranger is just one distinct move in a series of shifts for the company as it works to modify its role as a large-producer. They're focusing on moving to smaller, more fuel-efficient products and the push is apparent. The Focus has been receiving special attention, major changes to their lineup are cutting unnecessary fat, and the Ranger’s introduction precedes an even more exciting comeback – the all-new Ford Bronco. After a 30-year production run, the Bronco is making a comeback following a 12-year production pause — and it’s a midsize truck now as well (again). There’s even talk of a Volkswagen-Ford partnership in the near future.
With all of these exciting new changes abound with the Ford Motor Company, the failure to acknowledge a Raptor-variant is bluing some oval fans, but the Ranger was never a performance model in the slightest respect in the first place, so not much is lost there. It’s also possible that Ford is keeping some cards close to the chest to keep a healthy amount of media buzz surrounding them; they already have enough to focus on now as it is.
In the new Ford Ranger, you can expect some changes. An off-road, terrain management system, trail control, electronic diff control, and a digital readout will be equipped to display parameters applicable to the negotiation of off-road environments; something we’ve never seen in a factory ranger before. There will be a crew cab this time around, and the regular cab is axed in favor of their Super Cab model. All of this is positioning the Ranger to be stiff competition in a newly-flourishing midsize truck market that aims to nail the sweet spot between economy and utility. How it will fare is yet to be determined, but all indications are very promising so far.