Ford Ranger: Ford Bringing Back Model?, Ford Motor Co is considering a revival of the Bronco sport utility vehicle and Ranger small pickup in the US, where truck demand is booming, said a person familiar with company’s plans.
The two models would be built at a Wayne, Michigan, factory that now makes small cars, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing product plans. The move would help Ford preserve some US union jobs amid contract talks. The company may assemble the Focus and C-Max in Mexico, a person familiar with the matter had said.
The return of the Ranger and Bronco, which drew unwelcome renown as OJ Simpson’s getaway car two decades ago, gives Ford key models to compete with offerings by Toyota Motor Corp and General Motors Co. The Bronco would also bring back an iconic name that has struck a chord with young buyers despite being out of production for almost 20 years.
“It’s a good move,” John Wolkonowicz, a Boston-based independent analyst, said of reviving the SUV. “Gen Y has discovered the original Bronco. Ford has seen what the Mustang can do for them, and they are bringing back their iconic names.”
The Bronco debuted in 1966 as a rugged competitor to the Jeep CJ, now known as the Wrangler. It has become popular with millennials in southern California, said Wolkonowicz, a former product planner for Ford.
The move would help Ford preserve some US union jobs amid contract talks. – Reuters picMid-sized SUV
The new Bronco will be a mid-sized SUV, like the Explorer, the person said. It will be built on a pickup frame, making it tougher than the Explorer, according to the person.
“The only way this makes sense is if it is more rugged and likely targeted at Jeep,” said Jeff Schuster, an analyst at consultant LMC Automotive in Southfield, Michigan.
Ford made its last Bronco in 1996 and ended Ranger production in 2011.