The new small truck has big expectations.
For years, many assumed the small pickup truck market was dead in America. The smallest truck buyers were supposedly willing to go was midsize. Think the Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma. They assumed wrong. The all-new 2022 Ford Maverick compact truck has arrived and the orders haven't stopped coming in. Our own recent time behind was a fantastic experience and the Blue Oval is guaranteed to sell plenty of them. Many buyers are ditching their crossovers for something different.
At the same time, Ford has eliminated its entire passenger car lineup, previously consisting of the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, and Taurus. It's now a truck, SUV/crossover, and Mustang company now.
So does this mean the Maverick is serving as a direct replacement for, say, the Fusion? No way. Speaking to Muscle Cars and Trucks, Ford's chief product platform and operations officer, Hau Thai-Tang, made clear this isn't the case.
"No! It's not [replacing the Ford Fusion]," he said. "We looked at it as passenger vehicles are getting very commoditized, it's difficult for us to make money, how else can we use that capital and engineering capacity? We decided let's play to our strengths." To date, the Maverick has accumulated 100,000 reservations. Interestingly, a majority of them are coming from one of America's biggest and most populated cities: Los Angeles, followed by Orlando, Florida, San Francisco, and Houston.
Also working in Ford's favor is that the Maverick has very few rivals right now. None of them are from Detroit. There's the also new Hyundai Santa Cruz and the Honda Ridgeline, though the latter carries a significantly higher starting price. So this all begs the question: could Ford build a smaller truck? "Maybe," Thai-Tang added.
"There's certainly in other markets like South America and South Africa. But [the Maverick] is a great story. We leveraged the Bronco Sport (platform), we did all of our Built Ford Tough validation on it, and the decision to full hybrid eliminates the decision for first-time buyers on fuel efficiency and operational costs."