Will Ford Bring Back the Courier? Renault Pickup Spied

RenaultDusterOroch.Dborn01.KGP copy II

There's been a lot of buzz the last few years about importing smaller, car-based pickup trucks for U.S. customers as fuel prices fluctuate. That strategy targets a potential untapped market of buyers seeking a capable compact pickup with fewer traditional pickup truck trade-offs. Our spy shooters are seeing some interesting pickups based on global platforms testing around Dearborn, Mich., that could be an indication of things to come.

Related: Spied: 2018 Ram Midsize "Crossover" Pickup

Here's what they sent:

"Is Ford really considering a Focus-based pickup truck? Did we just catch some sign of potential benchmarking work being conducted in Dearborn for just such an offering?

"We spotted a Renault Duster Oroch pickup truck running on Ford's Dearborn test track and on public roads around Ford's Dearborn research and development facilities. With the Oroch, Renault tweaked the compact Duster SUV for pickup truck duty in its South American market, and it looks like what would result from converting the Ford Focus into a small lifestyle pickup, similar to concepts both Toyota and Hyundai have experimented with. Its appearance on Ford's test cycle route could be our first concrete evidence that something smaller than the Ranger pickup could be under consideration.

"Our sources at research firm AutoPacific point to a 2018 trademark by Ford for the Courier name, which points to the small Ford trucklet sold in South America as recently as 2013. The rumors say that the new Courier would be Focus-based and built in Mexico at Ford's Cuautitlan Stamping and Assembly Plant. While it would be a no-brainer for south-of-the-border markets, the most recent reports suggest that it could also be destined for North American consumption."

KGP Photography images

 

RenaultDusterOroch.Dborn05.KGP copy II

RenaultDusterOroch.Dborn03.KGP copy II

RenaultDusterOroch.Dborn02.KGP copy II


Comments

There's been a lot of buzz the last few years about importing smaller, car-based pickup trucks for U.S. customers as fuel prices fluctuate.

FLUCTUATE? That must be a new verb for FALLING. I paid 2.06 for unleaded in St Louis (suburb) recently. All across the south and here in Florida gas is way down.

Market gyrations account for some of it but the biggie is the stronger buying power of the greenback. When the dollar is strong, commodities like crude oil go down. Basic math. Ditto for the stock market. If dollars are strong, they buy more stock for the same amount of money.

Bringing a micro truck to the US when dollars are strong and gas prices are low is a surefire losing proposition.

Go rent the tiniest car you can, and drive it around for a weekend. That will cure you of any wish for a smaller pickup.

While I believe there's a potential segment for a compact truck in the US that could parallel the popular small CUV, I'm thinking this research will yield a vehicle for Ford to offer in foreign markets.

Is this the new cluttered look?

@stevador

The front end of that (Renault?) pickup is a sure fire way to keep your girlfriend from getting pregnant.

Sociologists have long wondered why the birth numbers in France dropped so much back in the 1950s. It's what happens naturally when women look at French cars. Name me even ONE French car ever built that would inspire romance. Wine? Yes. Great cheese and charcuterie? Yes. Sexy cars? NO

There is already a unibody truck in the U.S. ... it's called the Ridgeline. But people aren't excited about it because it doesn't have a blue emblem on it.

blue emblem?

The blue emblem has not saved a TON of Ford models lately.

Go hang out at a Ford dealer and watch what's selling. Trucks and big SUVs. Then look at "the investments" that Dearborn has made during the last 15 years.

Ford would OWN the whole truck/SUV space today if they'd had stronger executives and managers during the last 20 years.

Instead Ford is hanging on by their fingernails and GM (and RAM) compete very favorably against Ford's best products despite nearly leaving the scene back in 2008.

THIS TRUCK IS ALREADY ON SALE IN MEXICO, IM A FORD FAN BUT THE TRUCK FILLS A GAP NO ONE DOES HERRE, WE HAVE RANGER, HILUX, COLORADO, CANYON, TACOMA, ETC AND FOR THE BANG FOR THE BUCK ITS A GREAT DEAL. 4 BANGER WITH STICK 6 SHOULD BRING GOOD GAS NUMBERS. CHEERS FROM SONORA, MEXICO.

As the bed gets smaller and smaller and the payload/towing capacities drop from the full size 1/2 ton standard the vehicle makes less and less sense as an open bed truck and more as an enclosed CUV/SUV/Wagon/Van, ect.

A Baby Avalanche,
GM did a better job

As the bed gets smaller and smaller and the payload/towing capacities drop from the full size 1/2 ton standard the vehicle makes less and less sense as an open bed truck and more as an enclosed CUV/SUV/Wagon/Van...Posted by: Clint | Nov 27, 2018

Now we know who Captain Obvious really is.

Maybe he forgot to put on his Captain mask this morning. I had always wondered if it was Clint but now we know for sure. Whew!

I'm more inclined to believe Mitsubishi is using Ford's proving grounds to test and evaluate the Oroch for a future US debut. Mitsubishi needs a truck in its product line, and this could be the latest offering from the Renault/Nissan/Mitsubishi alliance to hit the market, if Carlos Ghosn's arrest and potential indictment doesn't break up the deal.

Ford should market a true small. Pickup. Make it a two mode Hybrid market it towards delivery businesses. Put the same drive train in the little Transit to cover the van segment.

I do not like the way this looks. But I am interested in a cheaper/smaller truck option. So hopefully they "Americanized" it and make it look like a real truck, but much smaller.

"Go rent the tiniest car you can, and drive it around for a weekend. That will cure you of any wish for a smaller pickup." ---- Posted by: papajim

Ummmm... No, it won't. Even owning my current Colorado, I still feel it's far larger than necessary for the purposes to which I will put it. But I got tired of waiting for rumor to become fact.

@vulpine

your new pickup is an ample option for someone six feet tall.

These trucks they're discussing in this article are suitable for folks a lot smaller than that. People who weigh 120-140 lbs Many parts of the western Pacific and Southeast Asia are populated with adults who weigh less than 150 lbs.

That's half my size.

Fitting into a traditional compact truck like the Datsuns and Toyotas of the 1970s is an exercise I prefer to avoid.

My generation grew up with cars that could seat adults in either row of seats. I guess that colors my opinion

@papajim
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder Taken back by the "styling "of some current US Pickups, people in glass houses should not throw stones
As far as the Oroch getting to the US , it has a better chance than the mythical Hyundai/ Kia Pickups

Robert Ryan,
The only good looking full size at the moment is the new Ram. It seems to have taken on the softer global look, like the Ranger. I think the Ranger will be the nicest looking US pickup, followed bt the Ram, Colrado and the rest are quite horrible.

The Reno ute here would be much closer to a Nissan than a Ford. Ford is most likely testing it so they can design and produce a competitive ute.

Softer Global Look = Loser. What a joke.

Name even ONE company making a half ton pickup outside the US. It's ours.

The new 2019 RAM is as all American as you can get. And it's Motor Trucks Truck of the Year!

Motor Trucks Truck of the Year!

hmmmm. Make that Motor TREND toty

"your new pickup is an ample option for someone six feet tall." ---- Posted by: papajim
--- My wife, at 6 feet tall, fit just fine in a Fiat 500 and absolutely loved that little car.

"These trucks they're discussing in this article are suitable for folks a lot smaller than that. People who weigh 120-140 lbs Many parts of the western Pacific and Southeast Asia are populated with adults who weigh less than 150 lbs."
--- You're making an assumption based on far too little data. Have you ever sat in one? Ever sit in a Fiat 500? Drive one?
Neither my wife nor I weigh a mere 150# and yet a well-designed cabin can be remarkably roomy even for a 6'+ person.

"That's half my size."
--- So?

"Fitting into a traditional compact truck like the Datsuns and Toyotas of the 1970s is an exercise I prefer to avoid."
--- The newer vehicles are designed much better than the old ones.

"My generation grew up with cars that could seat adults in either row of seats. I guess that colors my opinion"
--- You also didn't wear your seatbelts either, now did you?


You also didn't wear your seatbelts either, now did you?
Posted by: Vulpine | Nov 28, 2018

a little cranky today are we?

Actually I'm making reference to a time in the past when very few cars this side of Daytona or LeMans actually HAD seat belts. Times change.

As far as comfort goes, I'll pass on the Fiat 500.

Evidently a lot of people agree with me. If Fiat had not received so many federal and state subsidies I doubt most of us could pick one out of a lineup.

With the Explorer going back to rear drive it would be a good time to bring back the Sport Trac

@bobsled

The Sport Trac, the Subaru Baja, the Honda Ridgeline and the Chevy Avalanche all won high praise as concepts and sucked in the retail showroom. None of them were bad, things just changed.

Back when ideas like that were first hatched (1990s) the average pickup was a Regular Cab 2 seater. By the time these models made the transition (from design to showroom) the typical work truck had seating for five, available leather seats, all wheel drive and decent drivetrain options.

Some conditions exist today, which is why I doubt Ford will try to revive the Sport trac, esp. while they are rolling out the new Ranger.

Some conditions exist today...

edit---make that 'SAME' conditions exist today.

A compact truck make sense to me.
Mid size is just not a truck that can do real work. Same goes for most half tons.

But a compact pickup and a 3/4 or 1 ton in your stable. Pretty much has you covered.

^ makes no sense

Again PapaJim is spreading a bunch of stuff that is plain false.He spreads it just like some guy that lives here in Washington DC.
The 2nd Generation Ridgeline continues to accumulate accolades.
2017 North American Truck Of Year 2017 Motor Trend Finalist
2018 Car and Driver Finalist Torque News 2018.
Many reviews give it high praise like best for highway driving.
The unit body construction and fully independent suspension gives it a more refined smooth ride than conventional body on frame pickup
trucks. 2017 2018 just last year and current year.

So, considering all the awards, the only place where the Ridgeline really eats s**t is where it counts---retail sales.

Do you think they'll sell 25-30k of 'em this year? Will the new Ranger and Jeep doom the Honda. Stay tuned.

@PapaJim
The Ridgeline sales would not suffer from Jeep that's a different niche vehicle. You have to like Jeep to want that pickup.
Ranger is more conventional but again Ridgeline would not suffer
any sales to it. If you want more towing and better OFF-ROAD capabilities there are better alternatives compared to Ridgeline.
If you want smooth ride quiet cabin better interior more versatile bed and storage you should consider Ridgeline. US News ranks it #1 compact pickup truck. Also ranks high in safety.
So for all around pickup truck shouldn't overlook Ridgeline.
This is what has been happening false information spewed out.
People not doing their research or even test driving one.

@PapaJim
One of the new Test Drive reviews of new Ranger didn't even want to compare Ranger with Ridgeline. They stuck with GM twins and Tacoma. The Ridgeline interior is better compared to Ranger.
Ridgeline has interior of Pilot.
We don't know what 2020 refresh of Ridgeline will bring.
The just unveiled Honda Passport also shares Pilot and Ridgeline structure. This Suv is more off-road capable then Pilot so don't know
everything refresh will do. I don't know if a refreshing or new model at 3yrs.

If the Passport succeeds the Ridgeline is toast. Where else with the shop floor space & time come from?

Bulk of US Pickups are at best niche vehicles outside NA. Ridgeline does not exist. Jeep would be another niche vehicle.

@Robert

Why do the world's best companies want to open factories here, (while the automakers have basically abandoned Australia)?

@papajim,
Chicken Tax primarily. Otherwise they would find it much easier to export vehicles to the US. Imports have a negative connotation in the US and the country is big enough to support localised production, better distribution and vehicles modified for local tastes.
As well subsidiaries by various US state Governments brings in " transplant" operations by foreign owned companies,allowing them to produce vehicles cheaper for export to overseas countries, a lot like what happens in formerly Eastern European countries

@papajim
US Government pressure to bring operations back to the US and unfavourable exchange rates doomed local production of US owned companies

Your perspective, or perhaps it's just the sources you rely on for news, are almost comical.

Despite your comment to the contrary, the US government has FOR YEARS been advocating the off-shoring of production of manufactured products.

The president and his allies are encountering enormous resistance for his attempts to reverse this.

BMW just announced that they're going to build another plant in the US. They've determined that labor costs are friendly enough and they won't have to contend with the outrageous EU regulations to build cars for the North American market here.

In addition to favorable manufacturing conditions here there is also a significant American middle class that likes up-market cars, SUVs and trucks. What's not to like?

@papajim
You have it WRONG maybe that was the case, but it was made clear in uncertain terms that the operations were wanted back in the US by the Heads of Ford and GM here.
Current US Administration is trying to do this at the moment but it has been pretty ineffective in stopping the outflow of operations
Unfortunately both Ford and GM are in a mess, in the US. GM is desperately trying to stay afloat by massive job cuts.
Humour is in short supply in the US Automotive industry

@papajim
You have it WRONG maybe that was the case, but it was made clear in uncertain terms that the operations were wanted back in the US by the Heads of Ford and GM here.
Current US Administration is trying to do this at the moment but it has been pretty ineffective in stopping the outflow of operations
Unfortunately both Ford and GM are in a mess, in the US. GM is desperately trying to stay afloat by massive job cuts.
Humour is in short supply in the US Automotive industry

@papajim
Given the confrontational atmosphere between Europe and the US where is your link to the BMW announcement, as you have been very wrong in the past as you seem to misread what has happened

@papajim
GM has shut down its transmission plant in Baltimore for the HD Pickups, as well as the other plant closures in the US and Canada
BMW proposes building a new plant in Mexico as a hedge against the volatile situation in the US, that has been known for a while. They still import some parts from Germany

try eating fish or other brain foods. BMW announcement

https://carbuzz.com/news/bmw-announces-commitment-to-us-plant

Humour is in short supply in the US Automotive industry
Posted by: Robert Ryan | Nov 29, 2018

Their really laughing their a*s off in Australia's auto industry but there 's nobody there to hear it.

@papajim
Australia 's Auto industry is expanding.Trucks, Buses, now EV Commercial vehicles and Miltary vehicles. All Truck manufacturers are expanding or doubling their production facilties
Humour is pretty lacking in the US at rhe moment.

@papajim
As a result of the trade war BMW is thinking of making their own engines and transmissions to protext their investment and supplying the Mexican plant

Robert! You can't seem to get it. Australia no longer builds cars. Over.

Why would they put running boards on this thing?

...or wheels?

@ Hill Billed
Why would they put running boards on this.
It could be they may be useful in ingress/egress entry exit.
If a person is shorter stature or elderly have mobility issue younger child they might need them.
The average car you lower your body to get into it. Trucks Crossover Minivans Suv you step up or it's a good level height to get in&out.
A 5 foot person with mobility issue or elderly not going to enter/exit vehicle same as 6 foot 25-40 year old with no height or mobility issue.



Post a Comment

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
  • Your email will not be shown.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Home | Buy or Sell a Truck | News | Special Reports

Powered by Cars.com. By using this site, you agree to our terms of service | © 2017 Cars.com | Privacy Statement | Contact Us