Both automakers had announced earlier in the year the availability of two next-generation pickups for sale overseas. The new global Ranger, which features several diesel engine options, will go on sale in every foriegn market outside of North America. Despite pleas and petitions to the Blue Oval, Ford executives still do not see a market for diesel vehicles in this country.
Instead, Ford is focusing its efforts on the F-150 full-size pickup and its EcoBoost line of engines. V6 sales of the F-150 have been through the roof…though I am not alone in thinking that the F-150 is simply “too much truck” for my needs. Then again, the mid=size truck market has been shrinking steadily for the past decade, and from an executive point of view, it probably doesn’t make financial sense to invest in a dwindling market.
Meanwhile, GM has announced that its global Colorado that was unveiled in Thailand will go on sale here in America, though when and with what engines remains up in the air. Like the global Ford Ranger, the Chevy Colorado will be powered by turbodiesel engines overseas. While GM hasn’t announced whether or not America will get diesel engines, GM seems much more willing to commit to diesel technology, what with the upcoming Cruze diesel coming stateside as well.
Two companies, two very different paths when it comes to the future of pickup production. And while the F-150 may be the best-selling vehicle in America right now, with gas prices inching back up (again) and new fuel economy standards in the works, I don’t think Ford is really thinking this all the way through. Honestly, even if they just kept producing and selling the Ranger, it would probably keep selling. Just like at the Ford Crown Victoria, which after 30 years of production finally ceased being built only last month. And people were still buying them.
What are your thoughts on this readers? Is Ford right to concentrate on the more-lucrative full-size truck market? Or is GM wrong to try and stick it out in the ever-shrinking mid-size pickup market?
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.