Ford built the very last Ranger compact pickup truck on Friday December 16 -- ending the model's 28-year production run. The final Ranger was a white Sport model (pictured here) built at Ford's Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Twin Cities factory, which employs 880 people, only builds the Ranger.

The Ford Ranger was launched in 1983, and from 1987 to 2005 was the best-selling compact truck in the U.S. market. Recently, though, sales have dropped off; last year Ford sold just 55,364 Rangers, compared to the truck's peak annual sales of 348,358 units in 1999. In total, just under seven million Ford Rangers were produced.

Although a new version of the Ranger has been announced for foreign markets, it won't be sold in the U.S. -- Ford truck buyers will instead need to opt for the F-150.

The demise of the Ranger also spells the end of Ford's Cologne V-6, an engine family that spans 49 years and 25 million units. The 2011 Ford Ranger had an optional 4.0-liter Cologne V-6 engine that was rated for 207 hp; the truck's base engine was a 2.3-liter inline-four producing 143 hp.

Source: Ford