The announcement confirms reports from last year, which suggested a pickup based on the Focus platform could be a winner in Latin America, following in the footsteps of the Courier.

Ford has confirmed it's working on a cheaper, more compact ute to slot below the Ranger, following reports from July last year suggesting such a vehicle was in the works.

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference and quoted in Automotive NewsFord's president of global markets, Jim Farley, said the company is "investing in more affordable versions of our truck business" at the moment.

He also said "you can expect new nameplates below where we compete today", but wouldn't confirm any timing.

Automobile Magazine last year reported a Focus-based replacement for the Courier once sold in Latin America was in the works. Although the Blue Oval is no longer a player, the Volkswagen Saveiro and Fiat Strada are both strong sellers in the same segment.

According to the original report, the compact load-lugger would be based on the next-generation Focus, and therefore wouldn't surface until at least 2022.

Although it'd be aimed primarily at Latin America, there's talk about the car also making its way to North America and Europe. There's no mention of Australia at this point.