As Ford is said to bring back a new Ranger pickup that would be produced at its Michigan plant starting 2018, we’ve taken into account three main arguments why Ford would decide to make this move.
The carmaker is already talking with the United Auto Workers on the possibility of manufacturing the new version of the model and with the announcement that the compact Ford Focus and the C-Max would be moved for production in Mexico, we’re pretty sure the new Ranger will come to life at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant.
The Range could make more profits than the Focus
Due to political reasons, Ford is highly unlikely to close its U.S. plants with a growing economy there. What could be argued here is that Ford would make use of its plants here that have higher costs that those in Mexico to produce it most profitable vehicles.
A new Ranger in the path laid out by GM for new midsize trucks is almost surely going to bring more income than the Focus model. And by taking a look at the new GM midsize pickups, the Chevy Colorado and the GMC Canyon, Ford might cash in more on a similar Ranger. However, a new Ranger could not match the transaction prices set by Ford’s F-series line. While F-Series trucks’ prices start at $30,000, the average price is somewhere more at $44,000. This leaves for the smaller Ranger model to have a starting price of $24,000 but reach $32,000 with a series of appealing options included. Therefore, Ford would make a nice profit on the new Ranger model.
The Ranger has a market waiting for it to be launched
The former Ranger stopped being produced because of low sales, and despite having its fans, it was a simply basic truck. Ford is talking about a new vehicle with its new Ranger having high-tech features and being positioned as an everyday car for people with active lifestyles. The same approach is being used at the moment by Toyota with is midsize Tacoma and the Japanese carmaker sells around 15,000 units every month in the U.S., while GM has been selling around 10,000 of its midsize twins. And even if a new Ranger won’t reach 60,000 cars sold like Ford’s F-Series does per month, it will have strong brand recognition and would perform just as well as Toyota and GM, if not even better as Ford has managed to come up with trucks that its customers really love.
The Ranger might come together with a Bronco and possibly an Everest model
The same plant in Michigan might see a new addition besides the Ranger in the shape of an all new Bronco – a rugged mid-size SUV with strong off-road capacities. These two models might save some money for Ford as they would share underpinnings. Ford has not built a Bronco since 1996, but the former model Ford Bronco was conceived in the 1960s to compete against the car we now know as the Jeep Wrangler. Off road lovers still remember it and we’re pretty sure that the new Bronco, if done well, would find a new fanbase and new purchasers.
While FCA has encountered a series of problems lately in its auto sales, the Jeep models weren’t on its blacklist. The SUV brand’s sales went up for the past five years and up to August this year, Jeep sales would boost a massive 21% compared to last year’s levels.
The Michigan Assembly made around 285,000 units last year. While ten thousand Rangers a month would not be enough to keep all the Ford workers busy after the Focus and C-Max move to Mexico, assuming that gas prices don’t skyrocket all of a sudden, Ford could come up with a profitable lineup that could keep its UAW-represented workers employed.
By Gabriela Florea