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2019 Ford Ranger production will go into overtime thanks to high demand

Maybe Ford didn't show up too late to the party, after all.

The 2019 Ford Ranger must feel like Sally Field at the 1985 Academy Awards, because as it turns out, people like Ford's new midsize truck -- they really like it.

Ford has received such demand for the 2019 Ranger in January that the company will need to start overtime shifts in February to create the supply it needs, Automotive News reports, citing comments from Kumar Galhotra, Ford's North American president. The automaker expects to sell 1,200 Rangers in January, exceeding expectations.

According to AN's report, Ford currently runs just one shift of Ranger production per day at its Michigan Assembly Plant. This plant previously built the Focus, but as that car became one of many Ford axed in the US, the space was converted to build body-on-frame trucks instead.

It's a good start, but if Ford wants to get to the top of the midsize truck segment, it still has a ways to go. According to sales data from GoodCarBadCar, Chevrolet sold between 8,000 and 12,000 midsize Colorados each month in 2018. Toyota had even better success with the Tacoma, selling between 16,000 and 23,000 each month last year. Even the unibody Honda Ridgeline's sales hovered between 2,000 and 3,000 in monthly sales. AN notes that Ford sold more than 300,000 Rangers per year at its peak in the 1990s.

Some believed that Ford was a little late to the game with the 2019 Ranger, but the demand and the need to add plant overtime makes it sound like the timing was just fine. However, things will undoubtedly heat up further in the segment once the 2020 Jeep Gladiator starts rolling off the line.