Ford’s Maverick Truck Reverses Trend Toward Hulking Pickups

Pickup trucks in the U.S. have trended for years toward the bigger, brawnier and more expensive. Now, Ford Motor Co. is reversing course, with plans to sell a diminutive hybrid truck with a price tag—and gas mileage—similar to that of a compact car.

Ford on Tuesday revealed the Maverick, a pickup truck with a body comparable in size to a compact SUV, such as a Ford Escape. Its starting price of $19,995 will make it the least-expensive vehicle in Ford’s U.S. lineup when it goes on sale this fall.

The nation’s No. 2 auto maker is betting that some people who own sedans or small sport-utility vehicles would like the versatility of having a flatbed, but don’t have the budget or garage space for a big, gas-guzzling truck, such as Ford’s F-150 or midsize Ranger pickup.

“I think we’ll get a lot of first-time truck buyers, people who really didn’t consider a truck before, because it was either out of reach or it was too big for them,” Ford product chief Hau Thai-Tang said. He said he expects the Maverick will appeal to a more diverse set of customers, including women.

Pickup trucks have long been a strength for Ford and rivals General Motors Co. and Stellantis N.V . ’s Ram brand.

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