Ford’s next pickup may be a car.
The automaker, which plans to eliminate all of its four-door car models in the U.S. in favor of a mostly SUV and truck lineup, will introduce Focus-based compact pickup in 2020, Automobile reports.
Sources familiar with the project said that the unibody vehicle will be similar to the Brazilian-made Ford Courier that was last sold in 2013, but only made it as close to the U.S. as Mexico.
That’s where the new one will be built, according to the report, alongside the all-new Focus that it will be based on. What’s still unclear is whether or not it be imported into the United Sates, with the final decision partially tied to the ongoing international trade negotiations.
General Motors and Fiat Chrysler both sell similar vehicles overseas, but neither is currently earmarked for the U.S. market. However, Hyundai has promised a production version of its compact SUV-based Santa Cruz pickup concept, but has yet to confirm a date for its arrival. Ford's is expected to be larger than the last Courier, but smaller than the upcoming Ranger reboot.
As for what Ford’s will be called, the brand has been using the Courier name on small pickups since 2016, while U.S. pickup-car customers are more familiar with the Ranchero, which ended production in 1979. But the last vehicle it made of this type was actually the Australian Falcon Ute, which was discontinued in 2016.
Ford hasn't confirmed or denied the Automobile report, but a spokesman told Fox News that “while we don’t comment on speculation about future products, we are significantly expanding our North America lineup with all-new vehicles and entering new segments with fresh designs and white space silhouettes that will position us for even more growth.”
In other words, stay tuned.