Ford hoped Ranger owners would turn to the full-size F-150 when it came time to replace their compact pickups, but a new report from The Detroit News suggests about half of all Ranger owners end up on a vehicle from another automaker.

While truck buyers who don't want a full-size pickup can choose among the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, and leftover Chevrolet Colorados, not all Ranger owners are abandoning Ford. Some who don't turn to the F-150 are driving away from Ford dealerships in an Escape crossover and compact Focus, the report says, which could be due to the automaker offering Ranger owners big incentives to stick with the brand.

Ford decided to discontinue the Ranger pickup after sales of compact pickups shrunk to just 2 percent of the overall American automotive market. Between 1983 and last December when the last truck rolled off the assembly line, Ford built 6.6 million Rangers. While Ford sells a Ranger-badged midsize truck overseas, we don't expect to see that truck -- or Volkswagen's similarly sized Amarok truck -- here. Incentives and fuel mileage improvements have helped reduce the price and ownership cost between compact and full-size pickups, the report says.

While high incentives and improving mileage makes it easier for some midsize truck buyers to consider a full-size pickup, some Ranger owners leaving the brand prefer the pickup's compact size, which makes it more maneuverable than the larger F-150. For comparison a Ford Ranger SuperCab is 203.6 inches long compared to the 231.9-inch long F-150 SuperCab. A Toyota Tacoma Access Cab is 208.1 inches long while the Nissan Frontier King Cab is 205.5 inches long.

Do you think a market still exists for a compact or midsize Ford pickup? Share your thoughts below.

Source: The Detroit News