FORD WILL SELL U.S.-BUILT RANGERS IN MEXICO : SALES BEGIN FOR WINDSTAR, BIG VANS

MEXICO CITY - Ford of Mexico is turning north of the border to get trucks, trucks and more trucks.

Among them is the Ford Ranger. The compact pickup is expected to make its debut in Mexico in the next couple months.

'Selling the Ranger in Mexico makes a lot of sense,' said Victor Barreiro, chairman of Ford of Mexico, in an interview. 'We're looking to sell it here the first part of next year.'

A dealer source in Mexico City said the truck will be introduced in mid-February. It's not clear which of the three U.S. plants that build the Ranger will export it to Mexico.

But don't look for the popular pickup to be built here. Ford estimates it can sell 10,000 to 15,000 units a year.

'It doesn't make sense to tool up for that number,' Barreiro said. Ford will build only high-volume vehicles in Mexico, export what it can, and will import low-volume vehicles, he said.

As the North American Free Trade Agreement winds up its first year, Ford also introduced four new U.S.- and Canadian-built trucks to Mexico last week-the Windstar minivan (built in Oakville, Ontario), Club Wagon and Econoline vans (Lorain, Ohio) and the F-250 Supercab (Kansas City). The company expects to import about 1,500 units of each annually.

Ford builds only one truck line in Mexico, standard-cab F-series pickups, in Cuautitlan.

The Windstar will be priced at about 105,000 new pesos ($30,350).

JAGUAR IN SPRING

Separately, Jaguar will start selling the XJ6 sedan in Mexico in April, said Marcello Leite, president of Jaguar Mexico.

Jaguar will import about 200 units annually at the start, Leite said. It expects to add other cars to its line later.

The company is still studying the car's price, but it will be about 300,000 new pesos ($86,705), he said. The company is also studying leasing and financing programs, he said.

Jaguar will start with at least three dealerships - one each in Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara. The company might sell Jaguars through a Ford dealer, he noted.

Leite said Jaguar will select its dealers next year.

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Ford's import in Mexico

Ford Escort, Mustang, Thunderbird, Aerostar, Explorer, F-250 Supercab, Windstar, Econoline/Club Wagon, Ranger

Mercury Cougar, Sable

Lincoln Town Car, Mark VIII

Beginning 1995

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