With the launch of the all-new Ford Ranger, Ford Australia took up the reins, turning the Ranger into a mid-size pickup based on the new T6.2 platform (aka the P703 program) – an extensively revised version of the existing T6. And to build this new truck for the whole world, several plants are going to assemble it.
While the Ford Michigan Assembly plant and the Pacheco Plant in Argentina are confirmed to build the new Ford Ranger, the automaker has also $900-million investment into its Thailand operations. This is the company’s largest investment there since the company began building cars and trucks in the country over 25 years ago. That investment, which will support some 1,250 jobs, is to support the local production of the next-generation Ford Ranger and its mechanically related SUV cousin, the Ford Everest.
“This is an important milestone to build on our quarter-century of commitment to producing vehicles in Thailand,” Ford’s President of ASEAN and Asia Pacific Distributors Markets, Yukontorn “Vickie” Wisadkosin, said in a statement. The investment enables Ford to “further modernize and upgrade our local operations, and support production for the exciting upcoming launch of the next-gen Ranger, one of Ford’s highest volume and most successful vehicles anywhere in the world, and the next-gen Everest SUV,” she concluded.
Of course, it isn’t just the Thai market that Ford is building vehicles for in the country; Thailand is a major global market production hub for Ford, and one of increasing importance since the automaker has pulled the plug on its India and Brazil production operations, a couple of years after ceasing production in Australia.
Ford’s $900-million investment in Thailand is mostly aimed at updating its production facilities there to handle next-gen Ranger and Everest production, nearly doubling the number of robots present at its two plants there and increasing automation at the body shops. But among the more nifty upgrades coming is an update to the Ford Thailand Manufacturing Plant which will allow the facility to produce multiple cab styles on the same production line, instead of requiring individual lines for different cabs.
The next-generation Ford Ranger is slated to enter production in mid-2022. In America, it’s expected by 2023.