A long-time Ford Ranger owner recently got the chance to watch his new version being built at Michigan Assembly Plant, to both his delight and those working on the line.
“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Dave Barilovich of Dearborn. “I was really impressed with the efficiency at the plant.”
Barilovich spent a few hours in mid-January at MAP, seeing his silver Sport 4x4 Ranger moving its way along.
Ace Talbert, a 24-year Ford veteran, said it helps show the pride and quality he and his co-workers put into each vehicle.
“I remember when I was younger my dad would tell me that Ford is built on quality, that it’s job one,” he said.
Justin Seyferth, who is going on 20 years with Ford, agreed.
“I think it’s great that he was able to see what we do,” he said. “As he’s driving around, he’ll know it’s a quality truck and a job well done.”
Barilovich said his friends and family were excited to see pictures of the process.
“I’m definitely going to push the vehicle,” he said. “A lot of people have missed the Ranger.”
An overtime shift was recently announced at Michigan Assembly Plant due to the first-month success of the Ranger. Forecasters have said it could reach 300,000 in annual sales.
As a former Ranger owner, Barilovich was invited to the truck’s reveal event held last October at Michigan Assembly Plant. That led to a conversation with CEO Jim Hackett and Gary Johnson, group vice president for manufacturing and labor affairs. That, in turn, led to Barilovich’s visit to see his new truck being built.
“I was hoping I’d be able to drive it home,” he laughed. “It was a couple hours well spent.”
Talbert and Seyferth said they are excited about the Ranger’s return and look forward to the new Bronco, slated to be built at MAP in 2020.
“When I started here, we were building F-150s and Expeditions, but a lot of people are happy that the Ranger is back,” Talbert said. “And people cannot wait for the Bronco. We’re going to have so many customers.”
“You take pride in whatever you build, but I’d rather build a truck,” he said. “I can’t wait for the Bronco. It’s going to be great for Michigan Assembly.”