I know all the official reasons why we’re not getting the new global Ford Ranger in this country. “Compact truck sales are down”, Ford says, along with “It’s too expensive to certify a diesel engine to meet U.S. emission standards.” Both may be true, but stop and think about it for a second: maybe compact truck sales are down because no manufacturer has launched a ground up-redesign in the past five to ten years. The Ranger hadn’t gone through a significant redesign since 1998, and even that wasn’t as extensive as the 1993 one. In other words, Ford was disappointed that a truck last updated when George Bush Senior was in office wasn’t selling well. Imagine that.
I also understand that the U.S. laws relating to diesel emissions are stricter than the yet-to-be-imposed Euro 6 standards. How is it, then, that Mahindra managed to get DOT certification on their compact diesel pickup? One that, unless management comes to its senses, will never see a single U.S sale? Do you expect me to believe that Mahindra has a larger budget for development and certification than Ford? Do you honestly believe there’s no U.S. demand for a modern compact diesel truck that puts out 197 horsepower and 347 ft lb of torque?
I suspect the real reason is that the new Ranger would pirate sales away from Ford’s F150, which undoubtedly has a higher profit margin than the Ranger. Still, I can’t help think that sales of the new Ranger (especially in diesel variants) would help Ford reach ever-tightening CAFE requirements. For now, all we can do is look at the other 180 markets that will be getting the Ranger and dream.