There's been a lot of buzz the last few years about importing smaller, car-based pickup trucks for U.S. customers as fuel prices fluctuate. That strategy targets a potential untapped market of buyers seeking a capable compact pickup with fewer traditional pickup truck trade-offs. Our spy shooters are seeing some interesting pickups based on global platforms testing around Dearborn, Mich., that could be an indication of things to come.
Here's what they sent:
"Is Ford really considering a Focus-based pickup truck? Did we just catch some sign of potential benchmarking work being conducted in Dearborn for just such an offering?
"We spotted a Renault Duster Oroch pickup truck running on Ford's Dearborn test track and on public roads around Ford's Dearborn research and development facilities. With the Oroch, Renault tweaked the compact Duster SUV for pickup truck duty in its South American market, and it looks like what would result from converting the Ford Focus into a small lifestyle pickup, similar to concepts both and have experimented with. Its appearance on Ford's test cycle route could be our first concrete evidence that something smaller than the Ranger pickup could be under consideration.
"Our sources at research firm AutoPacific point to a 2018 trademark by Ford for the Courier name, which points to the small Ford trucklet sold in South America as recently as 2013. The rumors say that the new Courier would be Focus-based and built in Mexico at Ford's Cuautitlan Stamping and Assembly Plant. While it would be a no-brainer for south-of-the-border markets, the most recent reports suggest that it could also be destined for North American consumption."
KGP Photography images