The numbers don't lie.
The highly anticipated return of the Ford Ranger mid-size pickup truck was, somewhat surprisingly, met with only so-so sales figures last year. While a total of 83,571 Rangers were sold in 2019, the Chevy Colorado saw a more impressive 121,703 units sold. Breaking this down even further, in the first quarter of 2019 only 9,241 Rangers left dealerships lots compared to 33,494 Colorados. Jump ahead one year and the sales situation is quite different.
Ford Authority has run the numbers and the results are striking. Ranger sales increased by an astonishing 123 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same time last year for a total of 20,980 units, not far behind the Colorado at 21,429. Overall Colorado quarter one sales decreased by 36 percent. Should Chevy be concerned?
Probably, but the pandemic is likely the main cause for the sales slump. In fact, the Colorado isn't the only truck that took a hit. The Toyota Tacoma also experienced a nearly 8 percent year-over-year sales drop. The Jeep Gladiator, however, experienced a huge sales increase of its own during this period for a total of 15,259 units, which isn't too surprising given FCA's 84-month, 0 percent interest offer.
Even so, the Ranger is now ranked in the third place sales slot behind the Tacoma and Colorado, respectively. It's also important to bear in mind the Gladiator doesn't appeal to many traditional truck buyers, hence why FCA is rumored to be preparing to launch a reborn Ram Dakota featuring a more conventional design.
But the fact that Ranger sales experienced this massive surge is not only proof Ford made the right decision to bring the model back, but also that Chevy (and GMC) needs a redesigned or heavily updated Colorado sooner rather than later. Some updates are planned for 2021 but they may not prove to be enough given the Ranger's growing strength.
And there's still the matter of the coronavirus lockdown. The second quarter is already underway and given the current circumstances, the final sales tally for all automakers in a few months' time could be far below average.