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The first reports of Ford’s plans to launch a smaller and more affordable truck in the United States date from the summer of 2018. It turns out these could be correct as a new story on Automotive News claims that the automaker has already shown the sub-Ranger pickup to roughly 100 of its highest-volume retailers at a special dealer event in Tucson last month.

Codenamed 758, the small utility is said to be planned for a release by the end of 2021 with a starting price of under $20,000 making it at least $5,000 cheaper than the base Ranger. Ford wants to build and sell no less than 100,000 examples of the truck annually with production taking place at the manufacturer’s Hermosillo plant in Mexico. According to the report, the new product was well-received during the dealer gathering.

Gallery: Ford Courier Focus Pickup spy shots

The small pickup would replace the Fiesta and Focus as Ford’s entry-level offering as the Blue Oval is shifting its product range from sedans to utility vehicles. A report from September 2019 suggested the vehicle will be based on the platform of the new Euro-spec Focus and could utilize its 1.5-liter turbo gasoline engine, as well as a larger 2.0-liter unit. An eight-speed, torque-converter automatic will be available, too.

The name for this new entry-level truck remains a mystery. North American reports indicate that Ford favors the Courier moniker but's Brazilian team believes it might revive the Ranchero nameplate. Regardless of Ford’s final decision through, it is believed the model will be released in South America first with a market launch in North America coming in late 2021 or early 2022.

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