As Ford Motor Company begins to exit the “traditional sedan” segment in North America, the automaker will be putting more resources toward trucks and SUVs, but non-traditional car models will also play a role. Earlier this year, Ford CEO Jim Hackett referred to these models as “white space” vehicles – cars with very different silhouettes from the conventional, three-box sedans we’re used to. The new, crossover-like Ford Fiesta Active and Focus Active are perfect examples.
On that note, Ford in North America could introduce a new compact unibody pickup truck based on the Ford Focus by 2022, Automobile reports, citing unnamed sources. The automaker is already looking to replace its discontinued Courier subcompact pickup in South America – a unibody truck based on an old Ford Fiesta platform – and the resulting car-based truck is being considered for sale in the US and Canada.
As Automobile notes, there’s little chance that the new compact Ford pickup would have anywhere near the profit margin of the full-size F-Series or midsize Ranger, but it could help elevate Ford’s truck sales even higher in North America. Despite the fact that the F-Series is having a banner year in the showroom, General Motors is outselling Ford in the pickup truck segment thanks to its popular Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.
Like the South American Ford Courier, the automaker’s new unibody pickup would almost certainly use a front-engine/front-wheel-drive layout, although all-wheel drive would likely be available. It would be a somewhat-direct competitor to the midsize Honda Ridgeline, and… nothing else, really. But most important of all, it would give Ford a chance to revive its historic “Ranchero” nameplate in the US – a badge previously worn by a series of low-to-the-ground, car-based pickups that today enjoys a certain amount of collectibility and nostalgia.