A new trademark application has revived speculation that a smaller Ford Ranger sibling could come downunder
Ford Australia has filed a trademark application for the ‘Maverick’ nameplate, the brand’s small pick-up sold in America, reviving hopes that the ute could one day make its way to local shores.
The Ford Maverick – which is smaller than the top-selling Ranger and sits on a unibody ‘C2’ platform shared with the Escape midsize SUV – has previously been ruled out for the local market by Ford given that it is currently only made in left-hand drive form.
However, this hasn’t stopped trademarks being filed for the vehicle since it went on sale in the US more than two years ago – prior to this most recent application, Ford also submitted an application for the ‘Maverick Thunder’ in 2022.
However, plans for the Maverick to come to Australia – where it would likely find a strong niche in the highly competitive pickup segment – have never been confirmed nor progressed.
When asked about the latest trademark filing, a spokesperson for the brand locally told Chasing Cars: “Ford Australia submits trademark applications for various brand assets as a normal course of business, but they aren’t necessarily an indication of new branding, badging or product plans.”
Ford currently offers two pickup utes in Australia – the Ranger, which has recently claimed the title of Australia’s most popular vehicle after having dethroned a seven-year reign by its rival Toyota Hilux ute, and the F-150 large pickup which, like the Maverick, is made exclusively in left-hand drive in America.
However, while feasible for the F-150 which retails for over $100K, an expensive process like this wouldn’t be feasible for a ute like the Maverick which is pitched as a more affordable alternative to the Ranger in Ford’s global ute lineup.
While this may make the prospect of a right-hand drive Maverick seem unlikely, it is important to note that the C2 underpinnings found under the pickup are also found in the Escape midsize SUV which has until now been available locally in right-hand drive, suggesting that perhaps there is potential.
In recent years Ford Australia has retired the Fiesta and Focus hatchbacks as well as discontinuing the Escape, meaning much of its affordable options are no longer available. The Puma small SUV is set to receive a fully electric version in the coming year and should hopefully undercut the Mustang Mach-E, which starts at $72,990 before on-road costs.
For the Maverick to be manufactured natively in RHD, it would likely need to be sold to other right-hook markets such as the UK or Japan, and it’s unclear if the five-metre long ute would be received quite as well there as it would in Australia.
Certainly, the prospect of a smaller, value-focussed ute like the Maverick coming to Australia would be an interesting proposition for the ute-obsessed Australian market where the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max utes took out the top three positions for Australia’s most-delivered vehicles in 2023.
While the Australian ute market is dominated by larger utes, a more lifestyle focussed, smaller-sized ute segment is starting to gain traction in the US. There, alongside the Maverick, Hyundai has also had success with their Santa Cruz pickup, which also isn’t available in Australia.
Simultaneously, rumours have flared about a potential Toyota Stout pickup sitting below the larger Hilux in a segment that Subaru Australia has also expressed interest in entering with a Brumby-style ute.
Chasing Cars reviewed the Maverick on home soil in the US last year, along with another Ford not available locally, the Bronco – despite strong interest and hype for that retro off-roader, Ford has previously ruled the vehicle out for the Australian market too.
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