Ford has reportedly shown its dealers an inexpensive new unibody pickup that will slot in underneath the mid-size Ranger in the automaker’s truck portfolio.
Media reports surfaced this week claiming Ford chief operating officer Jim Farley showed the unibody pickup during a recent dealer meeting and said it would be priced from under $20,000. The pickup, rumored to be called the Ford Courier, is said to have flat sides and a slightly boxy shape that is reminiscent of the original Ford Ranger, which was released in 1983. Also like the original Ranger, the truck will be a simple, utilitarian offering, which should make it attractive to fleet buyers and those who want small, inexpensive work truck.
The Ford Courier could be a bit of a thorn in the side of General Motors when it arrives, as the Detroit-based automaker does not currently offer a compact pickup in the United States or Canada. It does offer the Chevrolet Tornado unibody truck in Mexico, but the Tornado was developed for emerging markets and is only a two-door. For this reason, it would not be an appropriate answer to the four-door Courier, which is being developed with the more demanding American customer in mind.
The Chevrolet Tornado is also sold in Argentina, Brazil and other emerging markets and is marketed as the Montana and Utility depending on the region.
The Ford Courier is expected to go on sale before the end of 2021, with Ford targeting annual sales of about 100,000 units. It will be produced at its plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, which will also build the next-generation Ford Transit Connect utility van.
The Ford Courier isn’t the only compact unibody pickup coming to America for 2021. Last year, Hyundai announced it would build a production version of its Santa Cruz pickup concept at its large manufacturing complex in Montgomery, Alabama. Details on the Santa Cruz remain scarce, but like the Ford, it will be a four-cylinder and will have a unibody platform.
While GM has no plans to bring a compact unibody pickup to the United States (that we know of) it is currently working on the next-generation Chevrolet Tornado/Montana/Utility. The new pickup, which will launch in markets like Mexico and Brazil next year and will ride on GM’s new GEM platform, which stands for Global Emerging Markets. Like the current version of the truck, it will only be offered with front-wheel drive and a four-cylinder engine.
Look for both the Ford Courier and Hyundai Santa Cruz unibody trucks to arrive sometime in 2021.
Source: Ford Authority