As you may know, we’ve been tremendously excited of late at the prospect that the Ford Ranger, and possibly a new Bronco built on the same platform, might return to the United States after so many years of absence. The Ford Ranger exited the American market back in 2011 without so much as a goodbye, while the Bronco SUV departed years earlier in 1996.
What had led us to believe that both of these models would make a North American return? For one thing, we know that production of the Ford Focus and C-MAX models is set to shift away from the Michigan Assembly plant come 2018, leaving that facility wide open to new product. For another, it’s been confirmed that, like General Motors, Ford will be ending all production in the country of Australia next year, where the Ford Ranger is currently built. That move will soon leave the mid-size pickup homeless.
Finally, products like the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon have demonstrated that the mid-size pickup market is still alive and well in the United States.
At any rate, we’ve just gotten another indication that the rumors surrounding the return of the Ford Ranger and Bronco to North America may prove correct, coming from the Detroit Free Press. According to that publication, an anonymous insider briefed on the current Ford UAW contract negotiations indicated that the Ford Ranger and Bronco names may have come up in the labor agreement. According to them, the Bronco SUV would enter production after the Ford Ranger, and no later than 2020, while the Ford Ranger pickup would start rolling off the Michigan Assembly line in time for the 2018 model year.
At this point, it certainly seems like the reintroduction of the Ford Ranger to North America is a foregone conclusion. Whether or not that rebirth brings a new Bronco with it is the real question.