It appears Ford’s watchful eye on the revival of the midsize truck market has determined there is room for the Ranger after all. Yep, after four years without a U.S.-spec Ranger, the Blue Oval is currently (and more openly) discussing the possibility of bringing back the compact truck. What’s more, the Bronco SUV is being mentioned as well.

The discussions are taking place between Ford and the UAW, with the union seeking promises on job security at the Michigan Assembly Plant. The plant currently builds the Focus and C-Max, both of which are scheduled to be relocated to another manufacturing facility after 2018. Ford now needs something to fill the gap and the business case for a less-expensive, more fuel-efficient truck is growing.

In order for the Ranger to work, the truck would have to cost $5,000 to $6,000 less than the F-150 and get 30 percent better fuel economy, according Ford’s truck group marketing manager, Doug Scott. That means the Ranger would have to have a base price of roughly $21,000 and get nearly 28 mpg combined.

If Ford didn’t start with a fresh design, the automaker would have to modify the current global Ranger to meet U.S. emissions and safety regulations. General Motors did the same with the 2015 Chevy Colorado and 2015 GMC Canyon trucks, both of which are loosely based off the global Colorado.

On the Bronco side, reports suggest the Bronco would be a midsize, body-on-frame SUV perhaps based on the Ranger. Again, Ford already has this vehicle in production in Thailand for sale in markets across the globe. Called the 2015 Ford Everest, the SUV would compete with Jeep in offering a competent off-roader.

If the Ranger and Bronco get the green light, expect them for the 2019 model year.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters:

Ford’s absence in the midsize tuck market and rugged SUV category has been felt throughout the industry. The Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier have grabbed buyers from Ford after the Ranger’s demise in 2011, while Jeep and Chevrolet have somewhat made up for the loss of the Bronco.

At this point, both the Ranger and Bronco are icons in Ford’s history. Bringing them back would fan the flames of nostalgia and bring plenty of customers to showrooms. It might even prompt GM to bring back the Blazer.

Speaking of which, I can only hope Ford chooses to compete squarely with Jeep. The Bronco should have a removable hard top, two doors, and a capable 4WD system. Sure, the Everest is cool, but the classic Bronco is cooler.

Then again, if Ford brings the Everest rebadged as a Bronco, Chevrolet could bring over its Colorado 7 SUV (also sold globally – save for North America) and call it the Blazer (or actually more fitting, the Trailblazer). The fight might not be as fun to watch, but it would include the right names.

2015 Ford Ranger

2015 Ford Ranger High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review here.

Source: Automotive News

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