THE daily outpouring of crap that comes from US presidential wannabe Donald Trump’s big mouth has pushed a US auto worker to let slip that the Australian-designed Ford Ranger ute and an all-new Bronco will be built in the USA later this decade.
Trump had mistakenly been spruiking that Ford was closing its US operations and sending all of its manufacturing to Mexico. This prompted Bill Johnson, chairman of UAW, to tell the Detroit Free Press last week that this was not entirely true. Yes, small car manufacturing is going to Mexico, but it is being replaced in Detroit by more exciting products.
"We hate to see the products go to Mexico, but with the Ranger and the Bronco coming to Michigan Assembly, that absolutely secures the future for our people a lot more than the Focus does,” Johnson told the publication.
This confirms many recent rumours claiming that Ford would re-enter the mid-size pick-up market in the US, with the Ranger to take on the popular Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma.
The Bronco would see the iconic nameplate return to Ford dealers for the first time since 1996, following a 30 year history there. The second-generation Bronco, based on an F-Series chassis, was assembled and sold in Australia for a short period between 1981 and 1987.
A new Bronco two-door wagon could be built on the Australian-developed T6 Ranger platform that currently underpins the PXII Ranger and Ford Everest Wagon. Two-door wagon SUVs traditionally don’t sell well here in Australia, but if the new Bronco is built on a T6 platform there is no reason it couldn’t be adapted for Australian right-hand-drive markets. Unlikely to happen, but it would be cool if it did.