Will a New Raptor Trim Help to Turn Things Around for the Ford Ranger?
The first generation of Ford’s pickup truck, the Ranger, bears little resemblance to the newest generation. Yet, the latest Ranger isn’t exactly new since its North American release lagged a couple of years behind its otherwise worldwide debut. The most exciting part of the new Ford Ranger is the addition of the Raptor trim, but will the Raptor trim lead to increased Ranger popularity?
Ford Ranger’s Q1 U.S. sales figures fall two years in a row.
According to data presented by GoodCarBadCar, the Ford Ranger returned in 2019, selling 83,571 units, improving to 101,485 in 2020. Since then, several factors have caused falling Ranger figures year-over-year, such as:
- The Covid pandemic
- An uncertain economy
- Parts supply chain shortages
- Volatile fuel prices
- Other more economical compact pickup truck options
After banner figures in 2020, numbers dropped by 6.6% in 2021 and 39.9% in 2022. Analyzing Q1 data shows that 2021 started 15% better than 2020, but fell by 27% in 2022 and another 34.8% in 2023. For example, in Q1 2021, Ford sold 24,166 Rangers but only moved 11,500 Rangers for the same period in 2023.
The 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor teaser
Ford recently announced the introduction of the 2024 Ford Ranger in a video, where the automaker teased us with a short 13-second video.
The video begins with a 2024 Ranger glamour shot showing four open doors, followed by the solid closing of a Ranger tailgate. The video closes with a glimpse of a Raptor badge, fading into footage of a Ford Ranger blasting through desert sand, to a soundtrack composed of throaty exhaust notes.
The rest of the world saw the Ranger Raptor debut in early 2022, a full year before its North American arrival. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, as Ford CEO Jim Farley set expectations last year for the Ranger Raptor’s American arrival sometime in 2023.
The seven spoken words in the teaser video, “Get ready, because adventure favors the prepared,” seem to state the wait will be worthwhile.
Can the Raptor trim improve the popularity of the truck?
GoodCarBadCar’s data shows improving vehicle sales for year-to-date and April alone compared to the previous year. However, Ford’s 2023 numbers are generally down from last year’s. Only Ford’s E-Series, F-Series, Escape, Expedition, Mustang, and Transit lines saw improved numbers for April 2023 compared to 2022. Year-to-date figures tell a different story, adding the Bronco and Explorer to the improved sales list and removing the Escape.
Of the ever-popular models, only the F-Series pickup truck offers the Raptor trim. While the Ford Bronco has offered a Raptor trimmed version since mid-2022 for the 2023 model year, sales struggled in April 2023. However, 2023 Bronco numbers have increased 127% over 2022 when only considering Q1 numbers.
Will the Raptor trim increase the Ranger’s popularity? It could. As the 2024 Ranger Raptor competes with Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, Chevy Colorado ZR2, and Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, it’s sure to garner interest as a worthy alternative.