We May See a New Ford Ranger at NAIAS

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Ford Ranger

Would the Ranger Be a Killer Announcement to Follow Up the Hybrid and Michigan Plant News?

The 2017 North American International Auto Show starts next week in cold Detroit, Michigan. It’s the first official car show of the year, and it’s the home show for Ford. They typically have some pretty epic announcements there. What will they have this year? Could it possibly be the new Ranger?

Ford just announced at an event outside of CES that they’re creating a hybrid F-150 to appear by 2020. Along with a whole slew of hybrid vehicles, the F-150 is one of the most interesting to us.

The other big news from that announcement is Ford canceling their plans to build a new $1.6 billion plant in Mexico and instead invest that money in the plant in Michigan that makes Mustangs.

This announcement is huge, and would normally dwarf anything they’d have at the auto show next week. Unless, of course, they had bigger plans.

We believe strongly that the Michigan plant that builds Focuses is instead going to build the Ranger. Ford also confirmed Focus production is still heading to Mexico. With this wave of good news about Flat Rock, Ford could make more news by announcing the vehicle to replace the Focus in Michigan. That’d make a lot of people happy.

Jobs news is always good news, and riding a news cycle like that through NAIAS would be considered a huge win for Ford. Plus, we already believe they’re working on the truck, so why not show it off?

We also knew that Ford was working on a hybrid F-150 for awhile, even if we couldn’t publicly talk about it. We expected the hybrid F-150 to be an auto show announcement instead of what Ford did. That removes the hybrid F-150 from the table for NAIAS.

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We’ve also seen spy shots of a diesel F-150 roaming around. While it wouldn’t be big news, it would be good news for the truck and something we’ve long waited for.

But without the hybrid news to go along with it, in an alternative-powertain special, what could trump — pun intended — this news?

The Ranger.

If not the Ranger, then dare we make an even-bolder prediction? The Bronco.

We’ll know soon enough!

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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