Here’s a question we are certain is causing sleepless nights for a wide swath of our readership: What is the most popular vehicle in Metro Detroit?
I know! It’s a topic that’s occupied my mind as well, especially while enduring long hours on the semi-pro karaoke circuit. Verticalscope would rather you click on the jump to find the answer, however, rather than give it to you here above the fold … but we will tell you this: it’s most certainly not the Ford F-Series pickup.
In fact, that truck line doesn’t even rank high enough for a podium finish.
United Auto Workers in Wayne, Michigan initially approved their four-year contract with Ford last week, signaling the first major victory for the the tentative deal, Automotive News reported.
Bill Johnson, who is UAW Local 900 president for the facility, told Automotive News that 81 percent of production workers and 83 percent of skilled trades workers approved the contract. Under terms of the contract, Wayne would likely see production of a new pickup for Ford — likely the Ranger — and new SUV, which could be called a Bronco, in exchange for production of two cars going to Mexico.
Under the deal, Ford workers would also see pay raises, a $10,000 signing bonus, annual bonuses and $700 million in plant improvements under terms of the deal.
What if an automobile manufacturer could develop a new product, bring it to market, never substantially update the product, and continue to sell that product at a similar pace year after year? That would be impressive. But Ford could not manage to execute that four-pronged action with the Ranger.
Yes, Ford originally developed a Ranger, brought the Ranger to the North American market, and didn’t bother to truly update the Ranger. The consistent sales pace aspect? Nope, didn’t happen.
U.S. Ranger sales declined in 11 consecutive years at the end of its tenure, from 2000 to 2010. The 28-percent year-over-year increase to 70,832 units in 2011 occurred as Ford cleared out the final Rangers at ridiculously low prices and buyers of small trucks who wanted a genuinely small truck picked up the Rangers that remained.
Ford may bring back the Bronco name as a Ranger-based SUV if production returns to the U.S. in 2018, Bloomberg is reporting.
The Bronco would be based on a mid-sized pickup frame, unlike the current Explorer. A Bronco could be targeted at Jeep, either Grand Cherokee — or Wrangler.
Ford ended production of its Bronco in 1996.
Ford is reportedly discussing bringing back the mid-size Ford Ranger pickup to America and Canada in its bargaining negotiations with the United Auto Workers, the Detroit News is reporting.
Ford may be assembling the truck, which could be brought back as early as 2018, at its Wayne, Michigan plant. The truck would replace the outgoing C-Max and Focus at the plant. Ford announced production of those two products would move to Mexico in 2018.
The last U.S.-spec Ranger was most recently produced at Ford’s St. Paul, Minnesota plant, which shuttered in 2011.
According to sources, the formal decision would need to be ratified by Ford executives and the union’s board.
Ford will build its next-generation Lincoln Continental at its Flat Rock, Michigan plant, which also produces the Ford Fusion and Mustang, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.
The announcement was made Wednesday by Ford’s Executive Vice President John Fleming at an event in Dearborn, Michigan.
The announcement comes ahead of negotiations with the United Auto Workers, which represents roughly 50,700 Ford employees.
Ford will stop building the C-Max and Focus at its Wayne, Michigan plant in 2018, Automotive News is reporting.
Moving the production of the compact cars could signal a coming slowdown in small car sales, or a shift in strategy for the global automaker. UAW officials say they’re confident the C-Max and Focus will be replaced with a different product at the plant.
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