Australian-market model shown

Ford appears keen to bring the Ranger pickup back to North America, in order to capitalize on the current craze for mid-size trucks in Canada and the U.S.

According to the Detroit News, the automaker is in talks with the union representing its workers to see if they can ink a deal to move Ranger production to Ford’s Wayne, MI factory. That would keep the plant open–and workers employed–beyond 2018, when Ford plans to relocate its Focus and C-Max assembly lines, probably to Mexico.

Ford discontinued the tiny North American Ranger after 2011; the truck that would come here if that deal with the union goes through is a much different beast, a larger vehicle last redesigned in 2011 that–were it to go on sale now–would be the fourth fifth model in this continent’s current mid-sized truck market, recently revived by the second-generation Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins, and recently-redesigned Toyota Tacoma; number five is the Nissan Frontier, which is due for a re-do soon. (Thanks for forum user JohnnyMac for reminding us of the aging Frontier’s existence.) In other markets, the Ranger is sold with engines including a 2.5L gasoline four-cylinder, a 2.2L diesel four-cylinder, and a 3.2L diesel inline-five. With the potential move into Michigan at least three years off, however, it’s likely the Ranger we’d see will be the next-generation of the truck.

2016 Ford Ranger

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