Ford to build Ranger pickup in Nigeria - USA TODAY

To the chagrin of its many fans, you can't buy a Ford Ranger in the U. S. , but now the midsize pickup is even going to be built in Africa. Ford announced Monday it will assemble the Ranger pickup in Nigeria starting in the fourth quarter of 2015 as part of its expansion in the Middle East and Africa, where the small truck is popular. The last U. S. -built Ranger rolled off the line in St. Paul in December 2011. Ford redirects truck buyers to the larger Ford F-150, but a core of customers continue to ask for the return of the smaller pickup. global sales increased 40% in 2014. Ford builds the pickup in South Africa, Thailand and Argentina. Nigeria will be the first African country outside of South Africa to produce Ford vehicles. Ford will send employees to Nigeria to train them in the Ford manufacturing system. Ford is partnering with Coscharis Motors Limited, a Ford dealer group. For Ford, "assembling Ford Ranger trucks in Africa's largest economy is an important milestone in our Middle East and Africa growth plan," said Jim Benintende, president of Ford Middle East & Africa. Source: