Ford will introduce the new Ford Bronco a week from today, when Ford will also begin accepting $150 deposits for it, though it’s unclear what that gets you. The Bronco will have two-door, four-door, and sport versions, though those three appear to just be the beginning of Ford’s aspirations for the Bronco name.
That’s because Ford said today it would be launching Bronco as a sub-brand in the company, not unlike what Mustang is. At present, you can get about 300 different types of Mustangs and it’s easy to see Ford going the same direction with the Bronco, with its three starting variations.
The point of all this, of course, is to go after people who might otherwise buy a Jeep, and also to take advantage of the popularity of overlanding, which was cool before the pandemic, and even more so now.
From Automotive News:
“We’ll start with the three models that we have,” Mark Grueber, Ford’s U.S. consumer marketing manager, said on a call with media. “We will continue to look to where there’s customers we could satisfy with Bronco and how to continue to expand the brand in the future.”
Ford is planning to introduce a Bronco-based pickup in 2024, according to a forecasting firm, and the automaker is also planning a compact, unibody pickup next year, which reports have said could be called Maverick.
Bloomberg has a bit more:
“There’s not a lot of vehicles playing in this space. We’ve got the equity and the credibility,” Mark Grueber, Bronco’s consumer-marketing manager, told reporters in a briefing last week. “We just see it as an ideal time.”
The new models also come as pandemic-weary Americans look for safe ways to get outdoors, Grueber added.
Oh, and one more thing, via Ford: The company is making playgrounds.
The Bronco team is creating its new Off-Roadeo outdoor adventure playgrounds to four U.S. locations starting next year; owners and enthusiasts can test the new Bronco lineup in challenging terrain and experience authenticity in the wild.
My own ambient sense of things is that Ford will probably sell a good amount of Broncos, and maybe even more Bronco Sports (Broncos Sport?), but Ford should also not pretend that it really is hitting it out of the park with regards to timing because of the pandemic. The Bronco was in development long before Trump started mishandling a global pandemic.
Also, there aren’t a lot of vehicles in the space of a Jeep Wrangler because Wrangler is sui generis, though I’m sure Ford has the market research to convince itself otherwise. That said, I can’t get too upset about Ford planning a new compact pickup. This world needs more compact pickups, Bronco-branded or not. Give me all of the compact pickups.