This political season has been full of surprises, one of which has been the auto industry being thrust into the limelight thanks to the protectionist trade rhetoric being espoused by GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. Despite the fact that higher-volume, higher-margin products are being added to Ford’s U.S. manufacturing base, Trump is continuing his populist appeal claiming Ford is moving thousands of jobs to Mexico. While it’s true production of the Focus is moving to Mexico for 2018, the Wayne, Michigan, assembly plant where it is assembled is not shutting its doors and will get new product once the Focus departs. Thanks to some inadvertent off-the-cuff comments made by the Wayne plant manager, we have a better idea what they’ll be. According to the Detroit Free Press, Wayne’s UAW plant manager, Bill Johnson, said both a new Bronco and a returning Ranger were going to be built at Wayne, neither of which have been officially announced by Ford.
This revelation is not a huge surprise to industry watchers, whom have long speculated the truck and SUV were the leading candidates to be manufactured at Wayne. The success and popularity of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon reportedly caught Ford by surprise. When GM’s midsizers were announced, Ford’s corporate talking points reiterated the company’s confidence in its all-fullsize truck strategy. The new Bronco will face off against the Jeep Wrangler, a strong-selling traditional off-road, body-on-frame SUV essentially in a class of one, with the departure of the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Nissan Xterra.
Source: Detroit Free Press