Ford Motor Co. is betting a compact, unibody pickup due out in late 2021 will fill an entry-level hole in its portfolio created when it discontinued low-margin sedans in North America.
COO Jim Farley and other executives showed off the still-unnamed pickup to roughly 100 of its highest-volume retailers at a multiday event in Tucson last month, according to some who attended. Ford has indicated to retailers the vehicle will be priced under $20,000, dealers told Automotive News, making it roughly $5,000 less expensive than the base version of the Ranger midsize pickup. One dealer said the sides of the vehicle resembled that of the original Ranger.
The small pickup, codenamed P758, is expected to be built at Ford's plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, and have an annual volume of more than 100,000, suppliers have been told.
Ford has said it plans to launch an affordable, "white space" product by 2022 but has not said what type of vehicle it will be.
The small pickup would join the EcoSport as Ford's new entry-level vehicles, with the elimination of the Fiesta and Focus and impending death of the Fusion. Dealers have said adding more affordable products to keep entry-level buyers is one of their top concerns this year.
The compact pickup would boost Ford's pickup roster to four, alongside the midsize Ranger, full-size F-150 and large Super Duty pickups. The lineup is expected to grow further in the coming years with a Bronco-based pickup in 2024, according to a forecasting company.
Multiple dealers said the product was well-received at the meeting, which they described as mostly upbeat.
A Ford spokesman said the company doesn't comment on future products.