Plans to produce the Ford Ranger pickup and a new Bronco SUV at the automaker’s Michigan Assembly plant may have just been confirmed by a regional UAW boss. In an interview with Detroit Free Press, the UAW member let slip that the two vehicles, which were rumored to be coming to the Michigan plant, mean more for U.S. jobs than the small cars that are being shifted to Mexico.
The comments were made in a piece about UAW members’ reactions to U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s criticism of Ford’s decision to move Focus, C-Max, and other small car production to its plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
“I think Trump needs to get his facts straight,” said UAW Local 900 plant Chairman Bill Johnson, who represents workers at Ford’s Wayne, Mich., plant. “He is absolutely beating up on Ford for doing what everybody else has already done.”
“We hate to see the products go to Mexico,” he continued. “But with the Ranger and the Bronco coming to Michigan Assembly that absolutely secures the future for our people a lot more than the Focus does.”
The revelation aligns with a UAW contract that was made public late last year. In it were details of an unnamed “new product” coming to the Michigan Assembly plant in 2018, followed by a second new model in 2020. Sources at the time said those plans referred to the global Ford Ranger and the Ford Bronco. The rumors were further fueled by Ford’s announcement that it will add four nameplates to its global SUV lineup by 2020.
Little is known about the reborn Bronco, but it could share architecture and powertrains with the Ranger. A Ford Bronco was last sold in the U.S. in 1996. (An illustration of what the Bronco could potentially look like is above.)