In a somewhat surprising announcement, Ford Motor Company claims that sales of their popular F-150 pickup are on the rise. Despite the compact Ranger being discontinued, loyal buyers have been attracted to the F-150's range of efficient and powerful V6 engines.
The popularity of smaller, more fuel efficient compact trucks have been on the rise for quite some time now. Ever since Ford discontinued the Ranger in the US, the V-6 F-150, for the first time ever has outsold the V8 F-150. The V-6 is offered in a 3.7-liter version and a 3.5-liter Ecoboost, marketed as a V-8 alternative. Would-be Ford Ranger buyers and other consumers have moved up to the V-6, creating such a demand that the Brook Park plant in Cleveland, Ohio has actually cut short it's summer vacation to keep up with the demand.
Pricing for the Ecoboost engine comes at a $1,750 premium while the base 3.7-liter V-6 comes standard. In other Ford Ranger news, Ford CFO Lewis Booth announced this week that Ford is putting a $500 million investment into the Pretoria, South Africa assembly plant. The plan is to build a global version of the Ford Ranger, with sales planned to almost 150 countries around the world (with the exception of North America, of course). Ford plans on producing 110,000 Rangers annually at Pretoria, while further production of the Ranger will commence at an AutoAlliance plant in Thailand.