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2019 Ford Ranger U.S. production has started and first consumer ones will roll off line in a week!

rangerdanger

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OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:

FORD CELEBRATES PRODUCTION START OF ALL-NEW 2019 RANGER MIDSIZE PICKUP AND A NEW ERA FOR A STORIED AMERICAN FACTORY

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  • Ford today invited more than 3,000 employees from its newly transformed Michigan Assembly Plant to experience the best of the all-new Ranger on an on-site, off-road course
  • Ford has invested $850 million in Michigan Assembly to retool the plant to build the all-new Ford Ranger and future Ford Bronco
  • 2019 Ford Ranger is part of an onslaught of new vehicles coming between 2018 and 2020, when the company aims to replace 75 percent of its U.S. portfolio
WAYNE, Mich., Oct. 22, 2018 – When many of Michigan Assembly Plant’s 3,000 workers gather today at the plant, they will be celebrating a rebirth in more ways than one.

The festivities mark a renaissance for a plant just outside of Detroit that has experienced the highs and lows of the American auto industry for the past six decades. The occasion also signals the rebirth of Ford Ranger, the mid-size pickup that will return to American roads early next year after an eight-year hiatus, fully modernized for today’s truck buyer.

The special celebration to mark the kickoff of Ranger production will include leaders from Ford and the United Auto Workers. Plant employees, media and others will have a chance to ride in the Ranger on a custom-built, off-road course in the parking lot of the plant.

“Ford truck fans demanded a midsize pickup that’s ‘Built Ford Tough,’ and we’re delivering with our all-new Ranger that’s specially designed and engineered for American truck customers,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations. “At the same time, we’re revitalizing our Michigan Assembly Plant and securing good-paying jobs for our hourly employees here in the U.S.”

Ford has invested $850 million to build exciting new vehicles at Michigan Assembly Plant, including the all-new Ranger for North America and the highly anticipated new Ford Bronco, scheduled to begin production in 2020.

For Michigan Assembly, a sprawling 369-acre plant in Wayne, Mich., which opened in 1957 building station wagons, the start of Ranger production marks a new era.

Beginning in 1966, the plant began a 30-year run of building Bronco, one of the original sport utility vehicles that gained popularity in post-War America. Michigan Assembly gained acclaim as being among the most important and profitable factories in the world when it made Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators from 1996 to 2008.

Early this year, Michigan Assembly ended production of the Focus small car to make way for a massive retooling in preparation for the Ranger launch.

The factory is set to build two high-profile vehicles again in the Ranger and all-new Bronco as American appetite for pickups and SUVs continues to grow.

“The revitalization of the Michigan Assembly Plant and renewed production of the Ford Ranger is another exciting chapter in our state’s comeback story,” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said. “This is also an opportunity to look toward its promising future with production of the all-new Ford Bronco on the horizon. I thank our partners at Ford for investing in Michigan and contributing to the Motor City’s legacy as the automotive capital of the world.”

Ford is transforming its product lineup, building on truck, SUV and commercial vehicle strengths. Ranger is the first in an onslaught of all-new vehicles that will see Ford aim to replace more than 75 percent of its current North American portfolio by 2020.

“UAW-Ford members take pride in relaunching the all-new Ranger right here in Michigan,” said UAW-Ford Vice President Rory Gamble. “Our UAW brothers and sisters take great care in the quality and craftsmanship customers will discover when they experience the relaunch of this iconic nameplate.”

Ranger is designed for today’s midsize truck buyer who blends city living with off-the-grid adventure. The midsize pickup will deliver utility, capability and technology those customers want and need.

Powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine and class-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission, Ranger will deliver driver-assist technologies and connectivity features as well as best-in-class payload, gas towing and gas torque.

“We have been waiting for this day for a long time,” said Michigan Assembly Plant Manager Erik Williams. “The Ranger is back home in the U.S., and our employees at Michigan Assembly Plant are thrilled to be able to build it for our customers.”

Ranger offers such innovative technologies as standard Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, available Blind Spot Information System with class-exclusive trailer coverage, and available SYNC® 3 with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™compatibility.

An available FX4 Off-Road Package includes Terrain Management SystemTM, which provides multiple selectable drive modes and all-new Trail ControlTM to help get through the toughest challenges.

Today Ford auto workers return to the Wayne Michigan plant to test drive the Ranger that they will be building. Workers in body, stamping and paint returned earlier this month.

And on Monday October 29th 2018 final assembly workers will return to the factory.

https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/ford/2018/10/22/uaw-ford-ranger-truck-michigan/1698341002/

Direct quote from the article: “The first 2019 Rangers available to the public should roll off the line in a week or so.

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A secret meeting in 2015 between Ford Motor Co. and the UAW led to job security and a sigh of relief among factory workers three years later as they begin manufacturing the Ford Ranger midsize pickup truck at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne.

“We were developing the idea around bringing the Ranger back, and the Bronco, as well,” Joe Hinrichs, president of global operations at Ford, told the Free Press last week. “We thought it made sense to build it in the United States at a plant with history.”

The Wayne plant opened in 1957 and built Broncos from 1966 to 1996.

So, in the spring of 2015, Hinrichs and then-UAW President Dennis Williams, and Williams' executive administrative assistant, Chuck Browning, met for a private lunch near the Detroit airport.

Hinrichs asked how labor might feel if Ford moved production of the Ford Focus sedan from Michigan to Mexico, and then retooled Wayne Assembly to build SUVs. The plan would need to be part of an upcoming labor contract, and Ford didn’t want to make the move without knowing if the UAW might support it.

“They were very supportive,” Hinrichs said. “They knew the workforce would love building the Ranger and Bronco again. So, we ended up making it part of the 2015 negotiations. This is a great story of collaboration between Ford and the UAW.”

On Monday, workers will celebrate and get rides in preproduction models of the Ranger on an off-road course created in a plant parking lot just for the event. Workers in body, stamping and paint returned earlier this month. Final assembly workers will return Oct. 29.

The first 2019 Rangers available to the public should roll off the line in a week or so.

“It’s exciting to see a pickup back in the plant again,” said Abraham Taylor, who started at Ford in 1963 and built the first seat on the first truck that rolled off the Wayne Assembly line.

“It was a Ford F-100. At the time, we was runnin’ pickups, buses, ice cream trucks,” said the U.S. Army veteran, who reminisced about building Ford trucks for the Army, Navy and Marines.

Back in the day, he was an inspector. Now Taylor works as a skilled tradesman, a gun welder fixture repairman. He remembers working the line — and seeing it stop — when President John F. Kennedy was shot.

Taylor, who declined to give his age, said he has no plans to retire from his 3-11 p.m. shift. But when he does, he hopes to move to Switzerland for skiing. For now, he's savoring all that's happening. And enjoying his 2010 F-150 pickup truck.

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Historic Wayne plant
Called the Michigan Assembly Plant, the giant facility on Michigan Avenue opened in 1957 and reflects 60 years of American history.

It originally built station wagons and then, as gas prices rose, the plant was transformed to build small cars. It was the first automotive plant in the world to build gasoline, hybrid and electric vehicles on the same line, noted Kelli Felker, Ford spokeswoman who specializes in the manufacturing and labor.

Now it's back to trucks.

As consumers shift from sedans to vehicles with taller silhouettes, assembly workers who build traditional passenger cars say they worry about job security. And then they, and Ford car dealers, joke that nothing looks like the Model T anymore and the only certainty is change.

Still, UAW workers say they view trucks as a safe space in manufacturing these days because consumer appetite for SUVs and trucks of all sizes seems insatiable.

Steady truck work
“With the ebbs and flows of the economy, we would have times of extreme overtime and times of extreme downtime,” said Walter Robinson, 52, of Redford, a former security guard and production worker at Ford who now oversees quality control. “People are looking forward to being able to work steady and get into the groove of the Ranger.”

Back in 2007 and 2008, right before the crash, and when Ford went out “and kinda hocked everything including the Blue Oval, and then they came out with a couple rounds of buyouts — the future was very tenuous at that time,” Robinson said. “A lot of people left because they didn’t know if it would stay open.”

The lower end car buyers disappeared first, before the higher end, he recalled, “which as kinda strange. Seems like the higher end would’ve went down first. But we bore the brunt.”

Robinson considered leaving Ford. But after losing his General Motors job to a plant closure years earlier, he decided to stick it out. And everything turned out OK.

“If people buy our vehicles, we will be able to provide for our families and send our kids to college,” said Robinson, who drives a 2017 Ford Taurus.

The competition
Ford has ceded the midsize truck segment in the United States until now.

Toyota is established as the clear leader among consumers.

Midsize pickups are among the fastest-growing U.S. segments, up 18 percent since September 2017, said Erich Merkle, U.S. sales analyst for Ford.

“It’s growing faster right now than SUVs,” he said

The midsize pickup fight has been between Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado:

  • In 2016, consumers bought 448,400; including 191,632 Tacomas and 108,725 Colorados.
  • In 2017, consumers bought 452,335; including 198,124 Tacomas and 112,996 Colorados.
  • Through September 2018, consumers purchased 396,398; including 183,909 Tacomas and 104,838 Colorados.
Ford is confident that the Ranger will sell.

“Our Ranger does extremely well all over the world,” Hinrichs said. “Our dealers know how to sell trucks.”

Toyota is undaunted by the challenge.

“Toyota welcomes the competition because it exposes more customers to the segment,” said Toyota spokesman Curt McAllister. “We remain confident that midsize truck enthusiasts will consider Tacoma, especially if their intentions are to go off pavement. Tacoma’s reputation and owner loyalty is heavily based on people who enjoy off-roading pursuits.”

In showing the Ranger to car dealers in Las Vegas this month, Ford displayed more than 100 accessories for the vehicle — many produced by Yakima, known for its high-end roof racks, bike racks, boat racks and camping gear. One display actually transformed the Ranger into a tent.

Midsize pickup sales are strongest along the Pacific Coast, primarily in California, said Chad Callander, Ranger consumer marketing manager. Ford noted that Los Angeles is the “megamarket” for the midsize pickup, with about 10 percent sold in the state. A lot are sold in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco.

“You get people who want a truck that’s a daily driving vehicle,” Callander said, “to move around the city, easy to park, that’s nimble.”

Nearly midsize pickup trucks are made in America. Toyota builds Tacomas in San Antonio, Texas, and Baja, Mexico, GM makes the the Colorado and GMC Canyon in Wentzville, Missouri. Nissan builds Frontiers in Canton, Mississippi; and Honda the Ridgeline in Lincoln, Alabama.
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LoneStarFlatLanders

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Today Ford auto workers return to the Wayne Michigan plant to test drive the Ranger that they will be building. Workers in body, stamping and paint returned earlier this month.

And on Monday October 29th 2018 final assembly workers will return to the factory.

https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/ford/2018/10/22/uaw-ford-ranger-truck-michigan/1698341002/

Direct quote from the article: “The first 2019 Rangers available to the public should roll off the line in a week or so.“

Awesome! Can't wait to get a build date on my truck. :clap:
 
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rangerdanger

rangerdanger

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NY35

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YESS :clap: Not only a great day for us future Ranger owners but reading through the article makes you realize how many plant workers lives it improves too!
 

uthunter

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Can somebody with a build date confirm they got keyless entry on theirs? My dealer is saying he can't get the order to process with keyless entry. My build date is December 24th.

Now that they're building, this has me worried as I love that feature.
 

AnimeRanger87

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CONGRATS Michigan Assembly Plant!!!! I too am a future 2019 Ford Ranger owner and I looking forward to seeing my new truck and many others on the road in the future.
 
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blackdog

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they should have a UAW local 900 decal option. might just paint it on the tailgate myself
 

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