Ford recently downsized its pickup truck lineup with the Ranger, its first midsize truck since 2011. But now it seems that the Blue Oval will launch a truck smaller than the Ranger. However, it’s unclear if the new truck will be sold in the United States.
Jim Farley, Ford president of global markets, confirmed plans for a small truck during an auto-industry conference held in Detroit, according to Automotive News. This is the same conference where Farley said Ford would build an all-electric version of the larger F-150 pickup truck.
Rumors of a compact Ford pickup truck have circulated for several months. In July 2018, Automobile Magazine reported that Ford was planning a pickup truck based on the Focus, and that said truck could go on sale in the U.S. by 2022. At the time, Ford still intended to sell the Focus Active (basically a Focus hatchback dressed up to look like an SUV) and the Mustang, while killing off all other cars from its U.S. lineup. Since then, Ford has cancelled the Focus Active as well, making a Focus-based pickup truck less likely.
The new truck will likely be geared more toward foreign markets, where sales of compact trucks still flourish. Ford’s last small truck, the Fiesta-based Courier, was built in Brazil and was sold in multiple markets outside the U.S. before it was withdrawn. Ford has applied to trademark the name Courier with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, although that move is far from a guarantee that Ford will bring a vehicle like the Brazil-made Courier here. Ford previously used the Courier name in the U.S. for a rebadged Mazda compact truck sold in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Building a downsized truck also gives Ford yet another opportunity to do battle with rival Chevrolet for sales. Chevy is reportedly planning a new small truck to replace the Montana, which is sold primarily in Latin American countries. While it’s unclear if either the Chevy or Ford will make it to the U.S., these vehicles could give pickup truck buyers an alternative to today’s fairly large trucks if they did.
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