After confirming in 2017 that its midsize pickup would be coming back to the United States, Ford took the wraps off the 2019 Ranger early last year. It featured an all-new design especially made for the US, and is a bit different from the Rangers sold overseas. Now, Ford is finally commencing the production of the 2019 Ranger at its newly transformed Michigan Assembly Plant in Detroit.
To mark the kickoff of the production of the new Ford Ranger, the carmaker had special celebrations at its Michigan Assembly Plant. The celebrations essentially mark the rebirth of the Ranger, which is slated to return to the US early 2019 following an eight-year hiatus. Likewise, the celebrations mark the rebirth of the plant that has been a witness to the ups and downs of the American auto industry in the past six decades.
Invited in the celebrations aren’t just leaders from Ford, but also from United Auto Workers. A large of number of the plant’s workforce – numbering more than 3,000 employees – was also present. These employees, as well as media members and others, were given an opportunity to ride in the new Ford Ranger a custom-built, off-road course in the plant’s parking lot.
Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant, is a sprawling 369-acre facility in Wayne, Michigan that started its operations in 1957. Its first assignment was to produce station wagons. Starting 1966, the Michigan Assembly Plant started production of the Bronco, which lasted for three decades. Beginning 1996 until 2008, the plant was home to the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.
Earlier this year, the Michigan Assembly Plant ended production of the Ford Focus to allow for a massive retooling as it prepares for the new Ranger. Ford has injected around $850 million in investment into the plant to build two new vehicles -- the all-new Ranger and the new Ford Bronco. Ford has been transforming its product lineup, building on its strengths in producing pickup trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles. In fact, the new Ranger marks the first of all-new vehicles that will replace over 75 percent of Ford’s North American portfolio by 2020.
The new 2019 Ranger will be available in two variants: a SuperCab (half rear doors) and a SuperCrew with four doors. Ford touts the new Ranger as a pickup truck that strikes a balance between the city and the outdoors. As for its power, the new Ranger is served by a turbocharged 2.3 liter inline four engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This combination is complemented by a number of driver-assist technologies and connectivity features.