Its first month on sale tells Ford one thing: build more.
After barely a month since going on sale, the reborn Ford Ranger is proving to be a smash hit. Ford expects to sell 1,200 examples this month alone and demand will only increase. That means there must be an adequate supply.
According to Automotive News, Ford has authorized overtime shifts at its Michigan Assembly Plant, where the mid-size Ranger is built, starting next week. The information comes directly from Ford's president of North America, Kumar Galhotra. "Based on the orders coming in, and based on the hand-raisers, we think the demand's going to be so strong, that starting in February our assembly plant will be going into massive overtime."
Ford claims that roughly 300,000 people have already indicated their intent to buy a new Ranger, hence the production crank up. Currently, only one production shift at the factory builds the Ranger and that makes sense for any new vehicle in its first month. But chances are Ford expected high Ranger demand and was just waiting to give the additional production order. That assembly plant was even converted from building small cars to body-on-frame vehicles specifically for the Ranger. In the future, it'll also likely handle the reborn Bronco, which will be based on the Ranger's platform.
With its very reasonable starting price of $25,395, the 2019 Ranger is going up against some heavy players in the mid-size truck segment, specifically the Toyota Tacoma and the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins.
It came as little surprise earlier this past week when Toyota previewed an updated Tacoma set to debut in Chicago in February. There's also a new segment player, the Jeep Gladiator, slated to go on sale this summer. Because full-size trucks like the F-150 are becoming bigger and bigger, the mid-size truck category that Ford figured was dead back in 2011 when it discontinued the previous generation Ranger, is now back in full swing. The proof is high Ranger demand today and Ford is taking steps to ensure everyone who wants one will get one.