Ford Motor Co. in 1999 is taking a commanding sales lead in the compact pickup segment, originally a niche sector popularized by Asian automakers two decades ago that now is one of the most important markets in the industry. Calendar year sales of Ford's Ranger are up 30.1% through June vs. year-ago (216,076 vs. 166,090), while deliveries of top competitor General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet S-10 are down 9.1% (124,445 vs. 136,930). Sales are up for GMC's Sonoma (3.6%), DaimlerChrysler ...

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