Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Company and union work together to bring the pickup's assembly back to the U.S.

The Ranger is coming back to United States, and it’s almost here.

The Detroit Free Press had the story a few days ago about how the Ford Motor Company and the United Autoworkers worked together to bring the iconic truck’s production to southwest Michigan:

In the spring of 2015, Joe Hinrichs (president of global operations at Ford) and then-UAW President Dennis Williams, and Williams' executive administrative assistant, Chuck Browning, met for a private lunch near the Detroit airport.

Hinrichs asked how labor might feel if Ford moved production of the Ford Focus sedan from Michigan to Mexico, and then retooled Wayne Assembly to build SUVs. The plan would need to be part of an upcoming labor contract, and Ford didn’t want to make the move without knowing if the UAW might support it.

“They were very supportive,” Hinrichs said. “They knew the workforce would love building the Ranger and Bronco again. So, we ended up making it part of the 2015 negotiations. This is a great story of collaboration between Ford and the UAW.”

That collaboration is about to pay off. After retooling its Michigan Assembly Plant and an afternoon of festivities in its parking lot …

courtesy Ford

… final assembly workers will return on Monday and start churning these trucks out.

Ford’s been promoting its new vehicles (there’s a new Escape and Explorer, too) with an ad campaign featuring Heisenberg himself, Bryan Cranston:

That’s cool. It’s all cool. Some steady auto manufacturing jobs back in Michigan. We dig it.