Ford revives its iconic Bronco SUV
Phoebe Wall Howard
The Ford Bronco, an iconic American off-roader, has re-emerged after a 24-year absence.
Ford tapped a country singer and two rock climbers to talk about the Bronco in a series of 3-minute stories created to debut Monday night on three Disney-owned TV channels and YouTube.
Ford has said it plans to challenge Jeep with the new Bronco, especially in the off-road market.
“The (Jeep) Wrangler will always have its loyal following,” said Martin French, U.S. managing director of Berylls Strategy Advisors, an automotive consultancy in Royal Oak, Michigan. “But the icon is back with vengeance. Ford means business. This is the shot in the arm that consumers and dealers want and need.”
The Bronco, built from 1966 to 1996, developed a cult following and now commands high prices from collectors. It was discontinued in the wake of O.J.
Simpson’s attempt to elude police in a white Bronco on national TV in 1994.
Consumers will see the small Bronco Sport SUV in showrooms later this year. The two-door and four-door Bronco will be released in the spring of 2021.
“We started this project several years ago,” said Winston Landin, Ford’s global director of consumer insights. “The foundational principle in the beginning was really the fact that the Bronco had already been a brand and there’s a strong heritage around the Bonco. That’s important because the vehicle would need to deliver what’s true for the Bronco — capability, durability and of course the design. There’s a lot of emotional connection that people had with this specific brand.”
The unveiling of the all-new Bronco and Bronco Sport comes at a crucial time for Ford. Its executives have predicted bold gains in a market segment that has room for growth.
The Ford Bronco will be built at the automaker’s assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan.
The Bronco Sport will be built at the Hermosillo plant in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.
Ford has said it is expecting to report a $5 billion loss for the second quarter, so this high-profile product plays an essential role in the company’s portfolio.
The price for the two-door 2021 Bronco begins at $29,995 for the base model, including destination fees. The fourdoor base model begins at $34,695 including fees.
The Ford Bronco is back after a 24-year absence and will be released in spring 2021.