By James Raia
Ford appears close to introducing a small utility pickup truck as a 2022 model and with a starting price of less than $20,000.
According to various truck industry publications, the still-unnamed vehicle will debut in late 2021. It’s rumored to be named Courier or Ranchero. Both names were used on previous iconic Ford vehicles.
Ford has used the Courier nameplate on several cars and trucks dating to the early 1950s and ending less than a decade ago in Brazil. Ranchero was the name of the coupe utility vehicle made by Ford from 1957 to 1979.
The new truck, which has been discussed for several years, will continue Ford’s trend away from building sedans. It will be equipped with a 1.5-liter or 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine with an eight-speed, torque-converter automatic.
With its expected starting price, the new unibody truck, currently code-named 758, would cost about $4,500 less than the current least-expensive base model of the Ford Ranger. The Honda Ridgeline, the only unibody pickup currently available, has a starting price of slightly more than $35,000. Hyundai also has a unibody truck planned.
The Ford F series of pickups has been the best-selling vehicle in North America for several decades. The manufacturer has announced the vehicle. But a report in Automotive News, a trade print and online publication, detailed the pending new truck was introduced to the automaker’s 100 highest-volume dealers and a gathering in Tucson, Arizona, in February.
While not discussing further specifics like towing capacity or fuel mileage, Ford noted it wants its pending new entry-level truck to sell at least 100,000 units in its first year.
More reports in industry publications detail the new truck will debut in South America followed by its launch in North America.
With the increase in small truck and SUV sales, Ford has steadily streamlined its sedan offerings. Ford had combined sales of about 350,000 units for the final sales of the Ford Fusion, Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta. Thus, the automaker needs a new entry-level vehicle. The Ford Ecosport subcompact crossover is Ford’s current cheapest vehicle, priced at $19,999.
Ford apparently will also expand its truck lineup with a Bronco-based model. It will join the Ranger, F-Series, Super Duty and the still-to-be-named new truck.
James Raia, a syndicated automotive columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive newsletter and co-hosts a free weekly automotive podcast. Sign-ups are available on the website theweeklydriver.com. Contact James via email: email@example.com.