Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] fans in the United States have missed out on the latest Ranger but that may eventually change if a new report proves accurate. The mid-size pickup made its debut in 2009 during the height of the global financial crisis, thus the decision was made not to offer it locally in order to allow Ford to maximize sales of its larger, more profitable F-150.
The Detroit News reports that Ford is now looking to bring the Ranger back to the U.S. and may even start production at a plant in Michigan. Ford’s plant in Rayong, Thailand is currently the main hub for Ranger production.
Ford is said to be in talks with the United Auto Workers over plans to start Ranger production at its plant in Wayne, Michigan. The plant is currently responsible for the Focus and C-Max, though Ford has confirmed it is moving production of the compact models to a new plant in 2018, most likely in Mexico where wage costs are lower.
The talks are said to be at a late stage, and an agreement between union officials and Ford’s board of directors will need to be reached. Mid-size truck sales have been on a decline for the past decade but recent entries like the new Chevrolet Colorado and its GMC Canyon corporate cousin have seen a slight uptick in the segment’s share of the overall market.
Of interest to performance fans are recent trademark filings for the “Ranger Raptor” and “Ranger FX4” names, suggesting that an off-road, performance-oriented version of the Ranger is in the works, something along the lines of the F-150 Raptor or original Ranger FX4.
Stay tuned for an update.