After months — if not years — of rampant speculation, Ford has finally confirmed that the return of the Ranger midsize pickup and Bronco sport utility are imminent.
Announced as part of its presentation at the Detroit auto show, the automaker said the Ranger will make its triumphant return in 2019 after a five-year hiatus, while the Bronco will be back in 2020 after more than two decades off the market.
Ford also confirmed that both will be built in Michigan, a rumor that a union rep confirmed back in September 2016.
“We’ve heard our customers loud and clear. They want a new generation of vehicles that are incredibly capable yet fun to drive,” Ford North American exec Joe Hinrichs said in a statement about the trucks’ return.
“Ranger is for truck buyers who want an affordable, functional, rugged and maneuverable pickup (and) Bronco will be a no-compromise midsize four-by-four utility for thrill seekers who want to venture way beyond the city.”
Of course, the Ranger is still sold in most of the rest of the world, including Latin America and Europe. That it will finally return to North America comes as little surprise, particularly following the success of rival General Motors’ successful return to the midsize pickup segment with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins.
When it comes to confirmation of the Bronco’s return, the ball is now squarely in GM’s court to decide whether it will bring back the Blazer.