Leaks happen all the time in the auto industry. Every car website wants to get that all-important scoop on a new model way before it actually comes out, and if it has photos, even better. Spy photographers make decent money doing that job, often camping out in the cold or in the desert, hoping to catch a glimpse and a snap of a prototype undergoing testing.
Now manufacturers generally downplay or ignore these leaks altogether, especially if the vehicle is so heavily camouflaged as to not indicate which brand it is. Such is not the case for this pick-up truck prototype, suspected by many to be the next generation Ford Ranger that will be launched in the very near future.
The images were acquired by Australian publication Wheels, and was picked up by other websites around the world, one of which was Jalopnik. The vehicle itself cannot be completely identified as the badges were fully obscured, though Wheels claimed that it could be the next Ranger pick-up truck.
But instead of ignoring the leaked images as carmakers tend to do, Ford decided to take action but in doing so they inadvertently admitted in writing that the vehicle is, in fact, theirs.
In a letter to Jalopnik, the supposed law firm said that they were “outside counsel to Ford Motor Company” and are asking for a “voluntary agreement” for the site to “take down copyrighted images of a Ford automobile”.
Given the proportions on the imagery, it's likely to be the Ranger pick-up. That presumption makes a lot of sense as Ford does like to do a lot of design and development in Australia. The current generation of the T6 Ranger was largely conceived in the Land Down Under, before being launched to the public in 2011. The timing also makes a lot of sense, as a late 2019 or early 2020 world premiere is within the reasonable window for the replacement of the T6 Ranger.
As for the rest of the auto industry and the media the cover it, we're sure many would like to send that law firm a basket of muffins for their service. Now we know it's a Ford, without question.
Talk about Damage Control... for Dummies.