US - The midsize pick-up is now being built at the OEM's Michigan Assembly Plant, which was previously used to make the Focus. By moving away from compact car production to larger vehicles, the company believes it is becoming more aligned with current consumer preferences.
"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," commented Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations. "At the same time, we’re revitalising our Michigan Assembly Plant and securing good-paying jobs for our hourly employees here in the US."
The news follows on from a US$850m investment in the facility for a 'massive' retooling project, allowing it to churn out larger vehicles. As well as the midsize pick-up, the OEM plans to produce the all-new Bronco at Michigan, though the SUV won't roll off the lines until 2020. This is part of Ford's goal to replace 75% of its North American vehicle portfolio by 2020.
The Michigan Assembly Plant comes under the remit of John Savona, who was recently appointed vice president of North American manufacturing. He is now responsible for the company’s entire production footprint across the region, which consists of over 30 plants.
Although Ford is looking to take advantage of growing demand for SUVs and pick-ups, it has also been recording strong sales for the Mustang. It recently celebrated the production of its 10m Mustang at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant, which is located just half an hour from the Michigan Assembly Plant.