File photo

File photo

Ford Motor Co. is considering bringing its smaller Ranger pickup back to North America later this decade to compete in the suddenly competitive mid-size-pickup segment, according to reports by Bloomberg and the Detroit News.

Ford could build the new Ranger at its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne in 2018, after the company shifts production of the Focus and C-Max to Mexico. Ford is now negotiating with the United Auto Workers, who must sign off on the deal, the Detroit News reported.

Ford has not publicly confirmed the reports. "We don’t speculate about future product plans," said Mike Levine, truck communications manager.

The past year has brought new competitors to the mid-size-pickup segment. General Motors introduced its Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon in late 2014. Next month, Toyota will deliver its next-generation 2016 Tacoma.

Ford produces a Ranger truck for global markets that's assembled in Thailand, South Africa, Argentina, and Nigeria. The truck is larger than the Ranger pickup sold in the U.S. market for the 1983 to 2012 model years. Ford hasn't imported the truck in part because of the 25-percent tariff on foreign-build pickups.

The last Ford Ranger built in the U.S. was a fleet order for Orkin Pest Control.

Ford is also considering reviving its Bronco sport utility vehicle, Bloomberg is reporting. Ford built its last Bronco in 1996.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet