By Fred Meier
Ford made it official today that it will revive a U.S. version of the Ranger mid-size pickup truck and that the Bronco SUV will return as a global product.
The Ranger will be back in the U.S. in 2019 and the two trucks will be built at Ford's Wayne, Mich., plant that now builds Focus small cars. The return of the trucks has been an open secret since Ford's plans were confirmed in 2016 by a United Auto Workers union official.
The Bronco won't arrive, however, until 2020, which means that former football star and broadcaster O.J. Simpson, who vaulted the Bronco to icon status with his televised slow-motion police chase in 1994, may be on the street before the revived Bronco. Simpson is up for possible parole from prison in 2017.
Ford made the announcement at a press conference at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. "Ranger is for truck buyers who want an affordable, functional, rugged and maneuverable pickup," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of The Americas, in a statement. "Bronco will be a no-compromise midsize 4x4 utility for thrill seekers who want to venture way beyond the city."
The new Ranger will likely be an updated, U.S.-compliant version of the already popular global Ranger that offers top-tier mid-size pickup performance for the Asian, South American and South African markets. Ford also sells a five-door SUV off the same platform in global markets called the Everest. Look for more information and spy shots of both in the future.