Return of the Ford Ranger: First production pickups roll off the line next week
The Blue Oval is ready to launch its new midsize truck
October 22, 2018
By this time next Monday, the first of the new North American Ranger pickups will have rolled out of Ford’s plant in Wayne, Michigan. The new truck, which will be built at Michigan Assembly, marks the return of the Ranger to the U.S. market after a seven-year hiatus.
Ford made the decision to leave the midsize pickup segment as sales began to wane for its truck and consumer demand shifted to smaller cars. However, record truck and SUV sales, as well as market re-entries by competitors like GM with the Chevrolet Colorado, convinced Ford that it was time to revive the Ranger as well as the long-awaited Bronco replacement. The Bronco, which will also be built at Michigan Assembly, will make its debut in 2020.
Before being retooled for Ranger production, Michigan Assembly was the home of the Focus and C-Max. The plant originally opened in 1957 as a station wagon plant, but it later shifted to trucks in 1964 and was subsequently renamed the Michigan Truck Plant before being re-renamed as Michigan Assembly. The plant churned out Broncos from 1966-1996, as well as Expeditions, Lincoln Navigators and small cars like the 1991-1996 Ford Escort. It was the first plant to ever produce gas, hybrid and full-electric vehicles.
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