As opposed to defining a discrete line of vehicles or a specific brand, the name Courier has been employed by Ford to define a number of different vehicle types since its first use in 1952.
The first model that ran from 1952 until 1960 was based off of a sedan design. One noteworthy feature in regards to this early type was the fact that as opposed to hinging from above, the rear door actually opened out to the side. Ford was seen to take a slight departure from this style beginning in 1971, as it adopted the Courier name to denote its line of compact pickup trucks which were at the time produced by Mazda (it should be recalled that Ford acquired a twenty-five per cent stake in the automaker beginning in 1971). The main reason for this turnaround was that Ford realised that the pickup truck was becoming quite popular in the western markets. Thus, they needed a model that would rival Toyota and Nissan.
The second generation of the Courier was introduced in 1977 and enjoyed a great deal of popularity until 1985. As with many vehicles of this time, the Courier exhibited a rather "block-like" appearance that was nearly ubiquitous in the automobile markets during the 1980s. Presently, many Ford models such as the Ford Fiesta are actually based around earlier designs of the Courier. While the name itself may not be indicative of a specific vehicle, the influential style that the Courier-type model had created continues into the present.