Like General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, the Ford Motor Company is working to hammer out a new contract with the United Auto Workers union. And today, when the details of that proposed contract became public, it included some interesting tidbits: namely the return of the Ford Ranger and a new Ford Bronco for the U.S.
Here’s The Detroit Free Press outlining the relevant (to small cheap truck fans) details on this proposed agreement:
The new product investments include a commitment by Ford to bring its Ranger midsize pickup back to America and to revive the storied Bronco nameplate. Both would be built at the Michigan Assembly Plant which will stop making the Ford Focus and C-Max families of vehicles there in 2018.
Production of the Bronco is expected to start after the Ranger and no later than 2020, according to a person briefed on the agreement who was not authorized to speak publicly.
It’s a $9 billion investment package in U.S. production, which comes at a time when UAW leadership and members are concerned with moving jobs overseas.
But as Automotive News’ Nick Bunkley pointed out on Twitter, this appears to mean U.S. production of the Focus, Fusion, C-Max and Taurus will end by 2019. (For the struggling Taurus, that may be the end of the road entirely, at least in America.)
This isn’t an official confirmation on any of these moves from Ford yet, but they make sense. A new Ranger and Bronco would help them compete with both the hot-selling Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon trucks, as well as any number of Jeep models.
Update: And as Automotive News’ own story points out, this appears to mean the end of most Ford car production in America by the end of the decade, save for the Mustang and Lincoln Continental:
Production of four U.S.-built cars, the C-Max, Focus, Fusion and Taurus, would last only through current product lifecycles. Ford also builds the Fusion at a plant in Mexico, and production of the Focus and C-Max is expected to go to Mexico. The Taurus could be discontinued or built only in a low-cost country such as China.
At that point, the Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental would be the only cars staying in the U.S. The Continental is scheduled to join the Mustang in Flat Rock, Mich. in 2016.
Ford’s Louisville assembly plant will stop building the Lincoln MKC crossover to increase output of the Escape. It’s unclear where MKC production will move.
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