Contract reveals many other production shifts.
Ford and United Auto Workers (UAW) leaders have reached a tentative labor contract, which sees wage increases for workers and production of many models moving outside the U.S. Voting for the deal by the automaker’s 53,000 hourly workers begins this week. Additionally, the agreement fuels rumors that the global Ford Ranger and a resurrected Bronco SUV will be sold in the U.S.
The contract only goes so far as to say that a “new product” will be added to the Michigan Assembly plant’s production line after the Focus and C-Max are relocated in 2018, and that a second new model will be added in 2020. Unnamed sources have told Automotive News that the Wayne plant will build a Ranger pickup and Bronco SUV. We had heard previously that the global Ford Ranger would be built at the Michigan Assembly plant in 2018, and the timeline in the contract matches up with that report. A concept for a next-gen Bronco was shown all the way back in 2004, but never really amounted to anything. If a Bronco is to be built alongside the Ranger at the Wayne plant, we can speculate that the two vehicles will share a platform and perhaps other components.
The contract also laid out many other changes to Ford’s production plans. Although Ford agreed to invest $9 billion to upgrade or revamp or keep open its U.S.-based plants over the next four years, production of most cars could leave the U.S. by the end of their current generations. The investment will create or retain 8,500 jobs as well as bring production of unnamed vehicles to assembly plants in Chicago; Wayne, Mich.; and Avon Lake, Ohio.