Ford is moving full steam ahead with plans to bring back the Ranger and Bronco. The automaker is investing over a billion dollars in three of its Michigan plants to put both of the iconic models back on the road.
Ford’s exact investment will total $1.2 billion. Of that, $850 goes to upgrading equipment to build the two models at its Michigan Assembly Plant. Work to transform the plant begins in May and will take about four weeks.
The remaining $150 million goes to upgrade the Romeo Engine plant – which will build engine components for the Bronco and Ranger. It currently produces engines for Ford Super Duty, E-Series, Ford Shelby GT 350 Mustang and Shelby GT350R Mustang, along with components for F-Series, Mustang, Explorer and Edge. The new production will create 130 new jobs.
Ford seems to be just as excited as the rest of us about the Bronco and Ranger comeback. It also predicts making big bucks off them as they expand Ford’s profit pillars in North America – those being trucks and SUVs.
This plan reflects both a continuing growth in buying SUVs and the governmental push for keeping things home grown. President Trump even tweeted his thoughts on Ford’s plans.
Big announcement by Ford today. Major investment to be made in three Michigan plants. Car companies coming back to U.S. JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2017
The investments also align with negotiations the automaker made with the United Automobile Workers union back in 2015.
For those of you with a more earth conscious bent, don’t worry. Ford notes the investment in the powerful, not so eco-friendly, Bronco and Ranger will be offset by its $700 million plan to build an all-electric SUV. The announcement made in January also includes $4.5 billion for more electric vehicles. It’s part of Ford’s plan to introduce 13 new electric cars in the next five years – including a hybrid Ford F-150 and Mustang.
Ford is also tossing $200 million towards its plant in Flat Rock to create a new data center. It’s the second of two new data centers Ford is building in Michigan, as the company expects its data usage to increase 1,000 percent – thanks to all the technology behind connected, autonomous and electrified vehicles.
The Ranger is expected to go on sale in 2019. Both it and the Bronco will use the platform from the globally selling Ranger. However, it will get some tweaking for America.