Ford is ending all production in Brazil in a cost-cutting move. This means the Troller T4 4×4, that great Jeep-like SUV we wish was sold in the US, is dead. Production will run through most of 2021 and then it’s gone. There are other Ford operations that are closing immediately.
Besides the Troller T4 both the EcoSport and Ka will be killed off
Besides the Troller T4, both the EcoSport and Ka will be killed off. Ford will maintain administration offices for the time being at the Sao Paulo headquarters. While all Brazil production will be ending, Ford will maintain a toehold in South America with production facilities in both Argentina and Uruguay.
As for the Troller T4, it was originally manufactured by Troller Veículos Especials. After Ford bought it in the mid-2000s it slowly worked Ranger pickup components into building them. Eventually, it was adapted to the Ranger global platform. Available in two lengths the T4 was updated just last year.
Power comes from a 3.2-liter turbodiesel with 200 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. That is hooked to a six-speed manual transmission with manual 4×4 with both high and low range. The T4 also has a locking rear differential.
In many ways, this is South America’s Bronco
In many ways, this is South America’s Bronco. It is puzzling that Ford never opted to make the T4 available in more places than Brazil. It has been Brazil’s best-selling SUV for years. But with the new Bronco Ford is eyeing it as a global contender, so the T4 gets in the way of those aspirations.
“With more than a century in South America and Brazil, we know these are very difficult but necessary, actions to create a healthy and sustainable business,” said Ford CEO Jim Farley. “We are moving to a lean, asset-light business model by ceasing production in Brazil and serving customers with some of the best and most exciting vehicles in our global portfolio.”
Is hope on the horizon for the T4?
When the new Ranger debuts it will be built in Argentina. That would make the T4’s platform obsolete, which also stacked the argument in favor of eliminating the model. It just seems that with the popularity of SUVs and the amount of money it takes to develop a new model that there would be a business case for selling it far and wide. So limiting sales to Brazil doesn’t make a lot of business sense, but we are not privy to all of Ford’s information and rationale.
But there might be some hope that the T4 will lie on. One reason that production is not stopping immediately is that this gives time for interested parties to come forward with a plan to continue production. That, or to take over the facilities for some other endeavor. Let’s hope that the T4 continues into the future and that its new owner if there is one, can figure out a way to import them into the US.