The next update for the Ford Ranger will be sold in the US from 2019, and will be accompanied by a new Bronco SUV in 2020.
For the US and Canada, and possibly Mexico too, both the Bronco and Ranger will be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, replacing the Focus and C-Max currently made there.
This will leave some diehard Bronco fans crestfallen, as their pairing at this factory means the new Bronco will be based on the T6 Ranger rather than the larger F-Series truck, the donor vehicle for most generations of the Bronco.
Above: Adios Ford Focus! North American production of which is shifting from the USA to Mexico.
The 2019 Ranger, and by extension the Bronco too, is expected use an updated version of today’s T6 platform, with drivetrain updates and changes necessary for compliance with US safety standards.
It’s not known how different the American Ranger will be from its global cousin, but given the One Ford policy we would expect it to be closely aligned with the ute currently sold in almost every corner of the world, save Canada and the USA.
As is often for case for global Ford vehicles sold in the US, the North American version will likely feature differences in styling and specification.
Above: The North American Ford Transit is only available with five- and six-cylinder engines.
With development of the global Ranger and Everest being led by a team at Ford Australia, this means our local designers and engineers will play an important role with a pair of vehicles that will, in all likelihood, sell in significant quantities in the USA.
Any drop in volume caused by this move will likely be offset by the new Bronco, and the entry of the Ranger to the American and Canadian markets.
Above: Toyota Tacoma, the big cheese in the North American mid-size pick-up market.
The new Ranger will enter a market segment currently growing significantly after many years in the doldrums.
According to Good Car Bad Car, the US mid-size pick-up truck market grew by almost 26 per cent to 448,398 units in 2016, with all entrants growing their sales.
In first spot was the Toyota Tacoma on 191,631 sales (up 6.7 per cent), followed by the Chevrolet Colorado up 28.8 per cent to 108,725. In the final podium position was the Nissan Frontier, still based on the previous-generation Navara, up an impressive 38.4 per cent to 86,926.
The only other two players were the GMC Canyon, a rebadged Colorado, which was up 24.5 per cent to 37,449, and the Honda Ridgeline, which shot up an eye-popping 4451 per cent from 520 sales to 23,667.
While these numbers are impressive in isolation, they pale into insignificance against the full-size pick-up segment, with the Ford F-Series (820,799), Chevrolet Silverado (574,876), and Ram pick-up (489,418) all singlehandedly outselling the entire mid-size pick-up market.