One little fact buried in the linked piece about Ford's $2 billion UAW savings is this: the Ranger is dead come 2009. It has been known for a while that the Twin Cities Plant in St. Paul, MN that makes the Ranger would close, and the closure date has been pushed back one year, to 2009. The Cleveland plant that casts engine blocks will also close that year. Credit goes to Automotive News for teasing out these new nuggets of info.
We wrote earlier about possible rescue scenarios for the Ranger, but it looks like the Ranger mine has been shut down and sealed off. Mulally has said that Ford will be more forthcoming about its plans at the Detroit show, so anything is still possible. However, after 26 years, it looks like the compact pickup truck thrill is gone. For you Ranger fans out there, the tune you're looking for is "Taps."
[Source: Auto News, sub req'd]