Ford is planning to re-launch its iconic off-road-ready Bronco SUV, and intends to build it and a new version of its Ranger pickup at an assembly plant near its headquarters in Michigan, according to a statement from a UAW union chairman published in the Detroit Free Press.

“…With the Ranger and the Bronco coming to Michigan Assembly, that absolutely secures the future for our people,” said Bill Johnson, plant chairman for UAW Local 900, which represents workers at the Wayne, Michigan assembly plant.

Johnson made the statement while defending Ford Motor Company from claims made by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that the automaker has been eliminating thousands of U.S.-based jobs while moving production of its vehicles to other countries, including Mexico.

Trump contends that the automaker, as well as other companies, bears some responsibility for the negative impact the loss of jobs has had on the local and national economy.

In his rebuttal to Trump, Johnson highlighted that, while it’s true Ford moved production of some vehicles to Mexico, it intends to build many new vehicles in the U.S., including and specifically the Ford Ranger pickup and Bronco SUV.

The Ford Bronco gained notoriety after being driven by disgraced NFL player O.J. Simpson in a highly publicized police chase, but it retains a soft spot in the hearts of many drivers who grew to love the Bronco for its capable off-road performance, comfort, and utility.

The all-new Bronco – a 2004 concept is pictured – is likely to share its chassis, drivetrain, and engine options with the Ford F-150 pickup truck, meaning it will feature body-on-frame construction, a solid-rear axle with a locking rear differential, and plenty of wheel articulation, rendering it a naturally rugged off-road machine and highly capable tow-vehicle.

No word on when to expect the Bronco to launch, but if the rumour-mill is to be trusted, the Bronco may be available at Canadian dealerships by 2020.

(Detroit Free Press via Autoblog)