Despite offerings like the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon keeping the midsize American truck segment alive in the US market, the Ford Ranger has been conspicuously absent here since 2011 – despite that it continues to sell abroad in some 180 different markets.
That may be about to change in the midterm future, though, with The Detroit News reporting that the Ford Ranger has become something of a focus for the automaker’s contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers union. It has been proposed that Ford Ranger production would start up at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant, following the departure of the facility’s current models: the Focus, and the C-MAX.
Both Ford and the UAW are seeking to fill the void soon to be left by the departing Focus and C-MAX, and the Michigan Assembly Plant is a flexible one; while it currently produces only two compact, fuel-efficient models, the facility has also been the past home of some larger production vehicles like the F-series, Ford Expedition, and Lincoln Navigator, to name a few.
Meanwhile, The Detroit News notes that the midsize pickup segment is a small, but growing, segment. Sales of small, light-duty pickup trucks like the Ford Ranger peaked at about 1.4 million in 1986, and declined to around 227,000 in 2013. Since then, the segment has rebounded some, but still only accounts for roughly 2.1 percent of all new vehicle sales in the US.