Ford could jump back into the midsize pickup market in the U.S. with a version of its global Ranger truck, according to reports from the Detroit News and Automotive News. Ford is apparently in talks with the UAW to bring production of the Ford Ranger to the Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan.
Ford did not comment on the reports, but did say in a statement that it is “actively pursuing future vehicle alternatives” for production at Michigan Assembly as part of upcoming negotiations with UAW leadership.
Ford recently announced that production of the Ford Focus and C-Max models would move away from Michigan Assembly in 2018, but did not announce any plans for a replacement vehicle to be built there. The Ford Ranger pickup is apparently a frontrunner in the final discussions between Ford and the UAW, an unnamed source told the Detroit News. The Ford Ranger was last sold in the U.S. in 2011, and a global version introduced in 2012 (pictured) is currently sold elsewhere in the world.
The possible Ford Ranger that would return to the U.S. would most likely be significantly different than the current global Ranger, which is codenamed T6. That model offers single-cab, extended-cab, and crew-cab variants, and offers a mix of gasoline and diesel four- and five-cylinder engines. Because of the Ford F-150 pickup’s wide-ranging lineup, the Ranger would need to offer better fuel economy and significantly lower pricing than Ford’s stalwart pickup in order to carve out a place for itself in the Ford truck lineup.
If it does come back to America in 2018, the Ford Ranger would join a revived midsize pickup market in the U.S., with the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon picking up steam, an updated 2016 Toyota Tacoma going on sale soon, and an updated Nissan Frontier expected to debut within the next few years.
Stay tuned for more information about the possible return of the Ford Ranger pickup in the coming months.