Back in July 2018, a rumour surfaced suggesting Ford was developing a new small unibody pick-up that could effectively serve as a long-awaited replacement for the half-tonne Bantam. And now the Blue Oval brand’s president of global markets has confirmed a baby bakkie is indeed happening.
According to Automotive News, Ford’s Jim Farley – who earlier revealed the brand would offer both “battery electric” and “hybrid” versions of its popular F-Series range – said is “investing in more affordable versions of our [pick-up] truck business”.
“You can expect new nameplates below where we compete today,” Farley said, according to the US-based publication.
Since the smallest pick-up built by Ford at the moment is the Ranger (itself only recently reintroduced to North America), Farley’s comments lend serious weight to rumours regarding the development of a Focus-based bakkie.
So, what would it be called? Well, in August 2018, Ford filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the “Courier” badge, so that seems the most likely answer.
Still, if the baby bakkie does indeed find its way to local shores, there’s at least a small chance Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa would attempt to leverage the Bantam name. As a reminder, the Bantam launched in South Africa back in 1983 and went out of production locally at the end of 2011. It was also offered as a Mazda wearing the Rustler badge.
*Note: the image above is a render courtesy of digital artist Kleber Silva…