ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The decision to extend the life of the Ford plant in St. Paul by a couple of years could come before the end of the summer.
Minnesota's economic development commissioner, Dan McElroy, says a company official told him on Wednesday the decision could come late next month or in August.
However, McElroy cautioned that the Ford official also told him it's unlikely the plant would remain open permanently, but extending its life was a possibility.
The company had planned to cease production of the compact pickup next fall and shut down its St. Paul factory, which employs about 1,060 people.
However, high fuel prices have apparently renewed interested in the small pickup. Ranger sales so far this year are up more than 2 percent.
Continued production could give Ford a placeholder until it figures out how to bring a small truck it makes elsewhere in the world to the United States.