The Ford Maverick Outsells Ranger: Why Don’t Ram and Chevy Have One?
In January, the small Ford Maverick pickup outsold both the Ranger and Toyota Tundra. Being a front-wheel drive, unibody platform, it is most closely aligned with the Honda Ridgeline and Hyundai Santa Cruz. But the Ridgeline’s starting price is $38,000. The Santa Cruz comes in at $24,000, while the Maverick tops them all at an affordable $20,000.
Why don’t Ram and Chevy sell their own Maverick?
So really, only Santa Cruz is Maverick’s competition right now. Which begs the question, “Why don’t Ram and Chevy make a similar small, unibody pickup?” Both of them actually do, but not for sale in the US. How did Hyundai and Ford beat Ram and Chevy to the punch?
Ford sold 6,500 Mavericks in January 2022, with Hyundai selling almost 3,000. If this volume is maintained, Ford is on its way to hitting its goal of selling 80,000 to 100,000 Mavericks in calendar 2022. In all of 2021, Hyundai sold 10,000 Santa Cruz trucks, which came out just last summer. And just for comparison, Honda sold a bit over 41,000 Ridgelines in 2021 in the US.
For all of 2021, Ford sold about 95,000 Rangers, falling just shy of the 110,000 sold in 2020. Last month it sold 5,200. So why is the Maverick selling better than the Ranger?
Two quick reasons why the Maverick is so popular
A couple of reasons are the Maverick is a brand new truck, and it starts at $20,000. It was a strategic move by Ford to get the Maverick’s starting MSRP at that low figure. We think that is a lot of the reason behind its strong sales; people want an affordable pickup. Ford’s Ranger starts at $25,500, right at where the Santa Cruz starts.
Because of that price, Ford figured many owners would have enough left over to customize and personalize their new Mavericks. And that has begun. It gets tougher to begin modifying your new F-150 when the base model starts at $30,000.
And let’s be honest, Ford probably doesn’t make many base models, especially in this environment. It makes the most money from loaded vehicles. So that is surely what it is making, at least until this seller’s market cools off.
Buyers want an affordable price and fuel economy
Another reason is the gas mileage a Maverick gets, with its hybrid powertrain. It’s economical to purchase, and also to drive. That is hard to beat with the price of gas soaring. A low starting price and great fuel economy are, obviously, very attractive.
As for Ram and Chevy, both have small, unibody pickups it sells in other countries. We don’t know whether it is a federal safety regulation issue, or just logistically, but neither have plans to bring them into the US. The Ram 700 is sold in Central and South America. In Europe, it is the Fiat Strada.
Chevy is working on a small unibody truck for the US but already makes one sold elsewhere. Called the Chevy Montana, it is made in Brazil, and it too is sold mostly in Central and South America. A new version is being developed utilizing GM’s GEM platform, which is used in numerous SAIC/GM models in China and Latin America. But, it also won’t be making it here.