All at once, the mid-sized trucks and off-roaders we've pined after for years will be hitting the market around 2020—and long-lost nameplates with big followings will be leading the way. The return of Ford's Bronco and Ranger are a big deal, and so is the addition of the Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer, and a pickup to Jeep's lineup.
The American small truck market was abandoned years ago by manufacturers when fuel prices dipped, small trucks got bigger, and all trucks got more expensive. Eventually, the endless measuring contest of power, towing capacity, and interior amenities turned little trucks big.
For years, carmakers claimed that profit margins were too thin to support trucks like the Ranger. Despite the current international Ranger's wide availability outside the United States, Ford hasn't sold a small or mid-sized truck in the US since 2012. But as it turns out, the Ranger is too good a proposition to let lapse entirely. The new truck is expected to bow in 2019, the carmaker announced today, with Ford ramping up production at its plant in Wayne, Michigan to add the Bronco to the mix in 2020.
On the Jeep front, significant improvements to FCA's plants in Warren, Michigan and Toledo, will allow for the expanded lineup. A pickup will join the lineup of capable Wranglers after the model's impending update, expected for the 2018 model year. Further building on Jeep's momentum, the newly-confirmed Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will slot in above the Grand Cherokee; interestingly enough, CEO Sergio Marchionne stated at the Detroit Auto Show that both models will be body-on-frame, unlike the unibody Grand Cherokee.
Regardless of your brand preference, it's all good news for fans of utility and the off-road enthusiast.