Ford marks start of Ranger production at its Michigan Assembly Plant with celebrations

Article by Christian A., on November 14, 2018

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.

Press Release

FORD CELEBRATES PRODUCTION START OF ALL-NEW 2019 RANGER MIDSIZE PICKUP AND A NEW ERA FOR A STORIED AMERICAN FACTORY

When many of Michigan Assembly Plant’s 3,000 workers gather today at the plant, they will be celebrating a rebirth in more ways than one.

The festivities mark a renaissance for a plant just outside of Detroit that has experienced the highs and lows of the American auto industry for the past six decades. The occasion also signals the rebirth of Ford Ranger, the mid-size pickup that will return to American roads early next year after an eight-year hiatus, fully modernized for today’s truck buyer.

The special celebration to mark the kickoff of Ranger production will include leaders from Ford and the United Auto Workers. Plant employees, media and others will have a chance to ride in the Ranger on a custom-built, off-road course in the parking lot of the plant.

“Ford truck fans demanded a midsize pickup that’s ‘Built Ford Tough,’ and we’re delivering with our all-new Ranger that’s specially designed and engineered for American truck customers,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations. “At the same time, we’re revitalizing our Michigan Assembly Plant and securing good-paying jobs for our hourly employees here in the U.S.”

Ford has invested $850 million to build exciting new vehicles at Michigan Assembly Plant, including the all-new Ranger for North America and the highly anticipated new Ford Bronco, scheduled to begin production in 2020.

For Michigan Assembly, a sprawling 369-acre plant in Wayne, Mich., which opened in 1957 building station wagons, the start of Ranger production marks a new era.

Beginning in 1966, the plant began a 30-year run of building Bronco, one of the original sport utility vehicles that gained popularity in post-War America. Michigan Assembly gained acclaim as being among the most important and profitable factories in the world when it made Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators from 1996 to 2008.

Early this year, Michigan Assembly ended production of the Focus small car to make way for a massive retooling in preparation for the Ranger launch.

The factory is set to build two high-profile vehicles again in the Ranger and all-new Bronco as American appetite for pickups and SUVs continues to grow.

“The revitalization of the Michigan Assembly Plant and renewed production of the Ford Ranger is another exciting chapter in our state’s comeback story,” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said. “This is also an opportunity to look toward its promising future with production of the all-new Ford Bronco on the horizon. I thank our partners at Ford for investing in Michigan and contributing to the Motor City’s legacy as the automotive capital of the world.”

Ford is transforming its product lineup, building on truck, SUV and commercial vehicle strengths. Ranger is the first in an onslaught of all-new vehicles that will see Ford aim to replace more than 75 percent of its current North American portfolio by 2020.

“UAW-Ford members take pride in relaunching the all-new Ranger right here in Michigan,” said UAW-Ford Vice President Rory Gamble. “Our UAW brothers and sisters take great care in the quality and craftsmanship customers will discover when they experience the relaunch of this iconic nameplate.”

Ranger is designed for today’s midsize truck buyer who blends city living with off-the-grid adventure. The midsize pickup will deliver utility, capability and technology those customers want and need.

Powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine and class-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission, Ranger will deliver driver-assist technologies and connectivity features as well as best-in-class payload, gas towing and gas torque.

“We have been waiting for this day for a long time,” said Michigan Assembly Plant Manager Erik Williams. “The Ranger is back home in the U.S., and our employees at Michigan Assembly Plant are thrilled to be able to build it for our customers.”

Ranger offers such innovative technologies as standard Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, available Blind Spot Information System with class-exclusive trailer coverage, and available SYNC® 3 with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ compatibility.

An available FX4 Off-Road Package includes Terrain Management SystemTM, which provides multiple selectable drive modes and all-new Trail ControlTM to help get through the toughest challenges.

Source: Ford

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