Ford May Bring Ranger Back to American Showrooms for 2018
UAW Talks Suggest Midsize Pickup Could Be Built in Detroit Factory
The midsize Ford Ranger pickup might return to the U.S. market in 2018, according to reports from The Detroit News and Automotive News. Ford is currently in contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers (UAW), and sources close to the organizations say the Ranger could be produced at the company’s Michigan Assembly Plant in about three years.
That plant currently builds the Focus compact and C-Max hybrid compact cars, but their production may move to Mexico (much to the ire of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump), making room for the Ranger. The American market has seen a shift away from compact cars and hybrids, so it’s very likely the Ranger could fill those vehicles’ shoes and maintain the plant’s 4,500 workers.
Doug Scott, marketing manager for Ford’s trucks, has said that the company would consider bringing the Ranger stateside if they could make a business case for it under the F-150. Pricing it at $5,000 less than the F-150 and giving it 30 percent greater fuel economy would do the trick, according to Scott. (That’d be a base price of about $21,000 and combined fuel economy of 28 mpg, for those of you who are mathematically disinclined.)
Automotive News is also reporting that Ford would like to bring a spiritual successor to the legendary Bronco to the American market, as well. The body-on-frame, off-road–friendly SUV would likely be based on the Ford Everest, which shares its platform with the global Ford Ranger. The Everest is currently sold in Asia Pacific markets. Company interest in a reborn Bronco is underscored by the excellent sales Jeep vehicles currently enjoy. Ford’s American lineup doesn’t currently include an off-road–focused model, but the fullsize F-150 will soon spawn a terrain-beating Raptor variant. We think a compact Bronco would make an excellent Wrangler-fighter in the backwoods and rocks, leaving the Raptor to own the desert landscape.
The Ranger could help revitalize midsize pickup sales if it gets the American green light. The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon reinvigorated the segment last year when they were introduced for the 2015 model year, and the recently redesigned Toyota Tacoma is the newest competitor in the burgeoning segment, which should grow from an all-time low of 227,000 to about 300,000 in the coming years, according to The Detroit News.