Ford is all but guaranteed to be following Hyundai into the soon-to-be-burgeoning compact pickup segment very shortly. The details we know so far make it sound incrediblyt tempting: the new truck will be potentially named the Maverick; it should start below $20,000, and use the same unibody platform as the Escape and Bronco Sport. It also should be tough-looking, too — hopefully like a cross between the new Bronco and the Ranger.
The best part? That new truck may be arriving soon. Muscle Cars & Trucks found a graphic from Ford's so-called "fireside chat" with Bank of America. It details new products for Ford's Michigan and Hermosillo assembly plants. The graphic depicts a "whitespace" vehicle under a cover that will launch in 2021. ("Whitespace," in this context, presumably refers to a new vehicle entering a currently-unoccupied piece of the market — a blank space on the paper, so to speak.)
The Ranger is listed separately on the slide with the Bronco and Bronco Sport, precluding that vehicle from being the new Ranger. Ford also included the Focus under "legacy products," ruling out a shock return by that nameplate. Unless Ford plans to cut the small crossover pie even further (or has something truly shocking that we can't even imagine in the works), the most likely vehicle to fill that white space would be the Maverick pickup.
Debuting a small pickup would make a lot of sense for Ford. Buyers love crossovers and trucks, and have soured on sedans and hatchbacks. Replacing small, cheap sedans and hatchbacks with little crossovers and trucks is a no-brainer. If the new vehicle looks the part, the market should be there. Although Ford may not be the only American manufacturer gunning for it...