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Ford Commits to 2018 Launch Date for U.S.-spec Ranger Pickup


In the United States, Ford and Ram Truck don't have a mid-size pickup to call their own. Other than the tried-and-tested Frontier, the market currently offers the Tacoma, Colorado, Canyon, and the unibody Ridgeline. Mind you, the two manufacturers that got out of the game want back in, especially the peeps over at Ford.

Mike Manley, the head of Ram Truck, let is slip that a revival of the Dakota is "an opportunity for the brand." In Ford's case, sources close to the automaker told autoevolution that it's true the Ranger is on track to return to the USA.

Justo Armando y Belgrano, the New Programs project leader over at Ford Argentina, is one of the linchpins that are vital to the U.S.-spec Ranger. Managing the development and leading the build events for the "New Ranger (P375 ICA)" is how Belgrano rolls and, if all goes according to plan, the Ranger will start production in 2018 for the 2019 model year, at the very latest.

Ford North America already laid the groundwork for the pickup's arrival in the U.S. by signing an agreement with the United Auto Workers. According to it, the Wayne plant in Michigan will move production of the Focus and C-Max to Mexico, retool, then start from square one with the Ranger. No later than 2020, the next-generation Bronco will also start production in Michigan.

Made until 2011 for the 2012 model year, the U.S. version of the Ranger was phased out because of the financial crisis that hit the United States hard at the end of the 2000s. Also, the advent of EcoBoost engines in the F-150 for the 2011 model year convinced many prospective customers of the Ranger to switch over to the bigger, more capable F-Series full-size workhorse.

But that was then. Having seen that GM's gamble on smaller trucks paid off with the Colorado and Canyon, FoMoCo is looking forward to grabbing a piece of the pie with a feature-packed lifestyle vehicle such as the new Ranger. Considering that General Motors' mid-size pickup trucks are available with a Duramax diesel, it's highly likely for Ford to modify the 3.2-liter TDCi oil-burning engine in the European-spec Ranger for the U.S. Ranger.

Article Source: autoevolution