Kumar Galhotra, Ford president of North America said this to media yesterday concerning the Ranger: "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."
The Michigan plant Galhotra is referring to, previously built the Ford Focus, but was renovated to build body-on-frame vehicles like this Ranger and potentially the 2020 Bronco. Exact details for how much overtime "massive" means, wasn't given to media.
Ford says about 300,000 people have already indicated plans to purchase the Ranger, a high amount for the current mid-size truck market. The Toyota Tacoma (mid-size leader) came close to hitting 250,000 last year, followed by the combined sales of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon at a little shy of 170,000. Sales aren't nearly on pace to overtake the Tacoma, yet, but Ford does expect January sales to total 1,200 for the just-released Ranger. There's historical precedent for the Ranger to hit 300,000 sales per year, though. It regularly crested that mark throughout the 1990s before dropping off a cliff in the mid 2000s. With gas cheap and truck buyers aplenty, there's no reason to doubt the Ranger will be a sales success, but only time will tell if it hits the 300,000 mark this year.
We happened to enjoy our first stint behind the wheel of Ford's small pickup. If you were in the market for a mid-size truck, the Ranger happens to start at $25,395 with a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The Jeep Gladiator is hot on its heels, and Toyota is planning to show a refresh for the Tacoma at the Chicago Auto Show next week.