Ford Ranger Production Kicks Off Today After Eight-Year Hiatus
Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant near Detroit will build the all-new Ranger and Bronco following an $850 million overhaul.
Ford Motor Company is throwing a massive party at its Michigan Assembly Plant near Detroit on Monday, one that will see 3,000 of its employees and executives congregate at the 60-year-old facility. The occasion? After an eight-year hiatus from the American market, the Ford Ranger is rolling down the assembly line once again.
Although the Ranger continued to be built and sold around the globe, the popular midsize truck has been absent from the United States for nearly a decade, something which helped the sales of the F-150 half-ton pickup rather than hurt Ford's bottom line. However, other midsize trucks have made a comeback in recent years and the Toyota Tacoma is no longer the only child, meaning that it has to share its customer base with the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon. How much will the Ranger impact the segment? Ford remains bullish.
“Ford truck fans demanded a midsize pickup that’s ‘Built Ford Tough,’ and we’re delivering with our all-new Ranger that’s specially designed and engineered for American truck customers,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations. “At the same time, we’re revitalizing our Michigan Assembly Plant and securing good-paying jobs for our hourly employees here in the U.S.”
The 369-acre facility, which has built everything from station wagons to the original Bronco since it opened its doors, will be the home of the all-new Ranger and the upcoming Bronco once again, although the status of the latter is still kept a secret by Ford. The Michigan Assembly Plant has been a key player in Ford's business strategy, oftentimes gaining notoriety for being of the most efficient and profitable industrial operations in the world. It also built the Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition from 1996 until the economic downturn in 2008.
“UAW-Ford members take pride in relaunching the all-new Ranger right here in Michigan,” said UAW-Ford Vice President Rory Gamble. “Our UAW brothers and sisters take great care in the quality and craftsmanship customers will discover when they experience the relaunch of this iconic nameplate.”
Monday's gathering will also give employees and other guests the opportunity to experience the best of the all-new Ranger on an on-site, off-road course.