The Ranger — which would replace the Focus and C-Max after production of those cars likely heads to Mexico — represents the kind of potentially high-profit, high-volume vehicle the union desires and likely would demand before members would ratify any contract proposal. The two sides must agree that the Ranger would be a good fit for the plant and its nearly 4,500 workers. For Ford, the pickup would mark the return to a small — but growing — midsize truck segment that would help it meet stricter fleet-wide fuel economy standards demanded by the federal government.
“There’s a real hunger for midsize trucks right now,” said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Once upon a time, there were a lot of midsize trucks in this market. The ones that are available are cashing in on the demand.”
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