French Army Going American with Ford Ranger
American military vehicles generally have one thing in common; they are large. Fortunately, when the National Guard is needed Stateside our roads are wide enough for those vehicles to traverse without issue. In Europe, that’s not always the case. So when the French Army decided they needed to phase out some of their off-road vehicles with new models, they decided to go the Ford route with 1,000 Ford Rangers.
The global Ford Ranger is one of the toughest mid-size pickup trucks sold anywhere in the world. The French decided that the payload and people capacity of the truck was worth it over the French alternatives from Citroën and Dacia.
There has been some political backlash, though. Imagine if, when it comes time to replace Air Force One, the United States government chooses Airbus (a French company) for the contract. The same applies for the Ranger. People are questioning why an American vehicle was selected over a French one.
The French Defense Ministry’s Pierre Bayle said that none of the vehicles are actually French, since the Ranger is built in South Africa, the Dacia in Romania, and the Citroën in Spain.
Other French manufacturers don’t consider it a defeat, since they don’t even offer a vehicle that could compete.
If you find yourself in France in the future, you might just see the military driving around in new Ford Rangers, which is more likely to happen than seeing a new Ranger in the United States.
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via [The New York Times]