Ford Motor Company has filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the name “Courier” in the United States, and while some might recognize that as the name of a particular model in the Ford Transit range, others might know it as the label of a subcompact, unibody pickup model from South America. Last week, rumors emerged that the not-quite-a-truck was going to be reborn, and possibly make its way to the North American market, so the discovery of this trademark application could be taken as supporting evidence.
The US “Ford Courier” trademark application was uncovered by the folks at Car and Driver, who remind us that the name was also previously used on a Mazda-based body-on-frame compact pickup truck sold from the 1970s to the early 1980s. But where that model could rightfully be called a truck, the new Ford Courier the Blue Oval is rumored to be cooking up will reportedly be based on the Focus compact car. This would give the model precious little competition in the United States outside of the unibody Honda Ridgeline and the forthcoming Hyundai Santa Cruz.
Asked by C/D about the Ford Courier, Ford spokesperson Dawn McKenzie said only that the automaker is “significantly expanding our North America lineup with all-new vehicles and entering new segments with fresh designs and white-space silhouettes that will position us for even more growth.” To us, that sounds more like a confirmation than a denial; as the automaker kills off each of its “traditional sedan” models in North America, it will be exploring new potential models with unconventional silhouettes to capitalize on the surging popularity of crossovers, SUVs, and trucks.
A Ford Focus-based pickup model would certainly fit the bill.