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Reviving the Ranger will get Ford back to action

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August 28
8:06 AM 2015

History does repeat itself.  Ford will definitely bring back the Ranger to the U.S. and rebuild it later this decade.

Ford Motors is planning to return to the midsize pickup truck market with a new-generation revival of its Ranger nameplate.

The Detroit newspapers thought of many possibilities if Ford will consider building new Rangers at the Michigan Assembly Plant near Detroit.  These include multiple wins for the U.S. auto market, giving another choice to American consumers in that category, and please the leadership of Unites Auto Workers (UAW) with whom the company negotiates with a new labor contract.

Since it sold the last Ranger in 2012, Ford (F) has insisted that it saw no future - more pointedly, no profit - in selling pickups smaller than its full-size F-150, which has been the nation's best-selling vehicle for more than three decades. 

That was before when the prices of the gasoline declined, post-recession buyers again looking for pickups and what hurts is that rival General Motors (GM) is lucky enough with the right timing of returning to the market with its own new line of midsize pickups for its Chevy and GMC brands last fall.

So far this year, the new Colorado sells about as well as the Chevrolet Camaro and Chevrolet Tahoe and according to GM, is America's fastest-selling pick-up, with a "days to turn" of just 16 days. 

Toyota recently overhauled its Tacoma which over the last several years basically owned the small pickup segment along with Nissan.

Recently, Ford announced that the production of its Focus and C-Max small cars from the sprawling facility in Dearborn, Michigan will likely be moved to Mexico which is something that hasn't sat well with UAW negotiators who are working toward a September 14 deadline with their counterparts at Ford.

The company previously said that it will build future, unidentified products at the plant, which currently employs about 4,500 people.

What will intrigue industry watchers, not to mention Ford investors, is exactly what the new-generation Ranger will look like.  A plausible move is to simply adapt the new-ish Ranger that Ford already sells in numerous international markets which is the most cost-effective and fastest solution.

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