Compact pickup truck sales have tanked in the U.S. over the past decade, butMotor Co. sees sales opportunities, particularly in Europe.
will debut its redesigned Ranger small truck, which will be sold in more than 100 international markets except North America, at this month's Geneva auto show.
The global pickup is built at Ford's AutoAlliance International Inc. plant in Pleukdang, Thailand, which is a joint venture withMotor Corp.
Ford sources the North American version of the Ranger from its Twin Cities, MN, plant, which was slated for closure this year but has been granted a reprieve through 2011. Once Twin Cities is shuttered, there is speculation Ford will bring the global model to North America, although officials remain mum on future plans. U.S. import tax on light trucks is a steep 25%.
The truck comes in three body styles: single cab; double cab; and a 4-door rear-access panel (RAP) cab.
Joining the Ranger in Geneva is the final version of Ford's high-performance Focus RS, the fastest production car ever built by Ford of Europe.
Marking the return of the RS nameplate after a 6-year hiatus, the Focus RS is powered by a 2.5L turbocharged Duratec 4-cyl. engine producing 296 hp and 325 lb.-ft. (440 Nm) of torque and mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
Corp. plans to unveil at Geneva the production-intent version of its '10 Chevrolet Spark minicar, shown in concept form at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in January.
The Spark's design is nearly identical to the Chevy Beat concept, first shown in 2007 at the New York International Auto Show.
The Spark arrives at European dealerships in early 2010, followed by Korea, India and other regions. It hits the U.S. in 2011.
Also from the GM family, troubled Swedish brand Saab debuts its '10 9-3X, a variant of the division's “SportCombi” wagon featuring a higher chassis, all-wheel drive and new design cues.
The vehicle targets buyers who want the capability of a cross/utility vehicle or SUV in a smaller, more fuel-efficient package.
Bound for worldwide distribution, shipments of the 9-3X are expected to arrive in the U.S. from Saab's Trollhattan plant in the year's fourth quarter.