The 2022 Ford Maverick is a vehicle of firsts for the Blue Oval. It represents the automaker’s first genuinely compact truck since 2012, their first standard hybrid truck, and their first unibody pickup based on a front-wheel drive platform. Combine all that with a sub-$20,000 base price, and it’s no surprise that the Maverick has stirred up quite a bit of attention since its debut. Of course Ford didn’t develop this new offering in a vacuum, and clearly knew there was a customer base to serve with the new Maverick pickup. The amount of interest in the truck got us thinking however, specifically about what took Ford so long to revive the small truck segment. Well, we went ahead and sat down with Maverick and Ranger marketing manager Trevor Scott to find out.
2022 Ford Maverick: A Replacement For Passenger Cars
At a glance, it makes a lot of sense for Ford to expand their pickup truck lineup. The brand has been leaning into their iconic nameplates as of late, as the Bronco, Bronco Sport, and Mustang Mach-E can all attest to. While the Maverick name itself might not carry the same level of generational respect as those models, any Ford truck will benefit from the automaker’s decades of segment leadership. Scott specifically noted to MC&T that Ford had a need for a vehicle with a reasonable starting price that actually fits in dealer showrooms. With the passenger car lineup dead in North America, a compact truck began to make business sense for the automaker once again.
“We’re not shy about leaning into the fact that this is a compact truck,” said Scott in an interview with MC&T. “We recognize that at one point in time it was a really, really strong segment in the industry. For us it’s not just a compact truck. It’s a compact truck that delivers on a lot of these attributes that many of these customers prioritize today.”
Ford wanted to create a well-rounded vehicle when developing the Maverick pickup. By creating a vehicle that is affordable while still offering truck-like capabilities, Ford believes they’ve made buying a whole lot simpler for their customers.
“Many customers were compromising on their vehicle choice,” said Scott. “Purchasing a vehicle with stronger fuel efficiency or trading off storage and capability, or vice versa, we felt there was a need for something that provided passenger volume, capability, practicality and also affordability… it’s a standard hybrid pickup with best in class fuel efficiency, it’s got all of the cargo space customers are looking for, whether you’re coming out of a small car or a small utility vehicle, I think there’s a strong demand. We anticipate that many of these buyers are going to be first-time truck intenders.”
Built Ford Tough
Of course when you factor the affordability of the 2022 Ford Maverick into the equation, long-time pickup truck customers may be interested in the new package as well. This could prove devastating for the mid-sized Ford Ranger, which is priced a bit higher than the Maverick. Ford doesn’t see it this way however, and believes that the two trucks will attract different customers for the most part.
“For Maverick, it’s absolutely Built Ford Tough, it’s part of the Built Ford Tough truck lineup… when we brought the Ranger to market there was definitely fear that it was going to cannibalize F-150 business. That’s not been the case. Both trucks have been able to sell alongside one another, and I’m 100 percent confident the same will be true for Maverick… I’m not gonna say some customers aren’t going to downsize from full-size or mid-size, but generally speaking we are very comfortable and confident about who the target customers are for our different trucks.”
Ford Maverick: Light On Competition
With Ford being so confident in this new compact truck, it does make one wonder why other automakers haven’t made a similar move. Hyundai has just rolled out the Santa Cruz, but they’re not exactly a traditional truck segment competitor of Ford’s. General Motors nor Stellantis have any concrete plans in place for a compact truck, although reports have persisted for years now of such projects. This is something the Blue Oval sees as an advantage.
“There’s certainly a first mover advantage here,” said Scott. “I think when you talk about the credibility the Ford Motor Company has from a truck perspective, we certainly have a major opportunity ahead of us.”
Whether or not the 2022 Ford Maverick becomes an incredible sales success, we’re sure Detroit’s other automakers are thinking long and hard about rolling out a compact offering of their own. And quite frankly, it’s about time that they do. Compact trucks were once massively popular, and there is no reason why that can’t be the case again. Especially if you can make a pickup as well-rounded as the Ford Maverick without forcing customers to break the bank.