Ford will discontinue the Ranger model in North America but will introduce a new and larger global Ranger in Australia next month.

Ford has announced that it will discontinue the Ranger pickup truck model for North America after 2011.

The Ford Ranger will not be replaced but Ford will instead expand the offerings in its F-150 range to fill the gap in the market.

U.S. market sales of the Ford Ranger, a small pickup truck first introduced in 1982, peaked in 1999 at 348,000 units. Ford sold only 55,600 Rangers in the U.S. last year and only 35,000 have made it off of dealer lots so far this year.

For the rest of the world, Ford will be introducing a new and larger global edition of the Ranger pickup truck in Sydney, Australia on October 15. According to Ford spokesman Mark Schirmer, the new global Ranger will be closer to the F-150 in terms of size.

The North American Ford Ranger is built at a Ford plant in St. Paul, Minnesota, which employs 750 people, where production will cease next year. Despite appeals from the state government of Minnesota, Ford will close the plant after production of the Ranger model ends in 2011.

Gallery: Ford to drop Ranger pickup in North America