By on January 26, 2017

Ford Ranger 3.2L TDCI Wildtrak exterior beauty shot, Image: Radek Beneš/The Truth About Cars

On September 5, 2006, Alan Mulally moved into the corner office at the Glass House. He brought with him a simple management philosophy he developed over three decades at Boeing Commercial Aircraft. After a short time at Ford, he formalized his philosophy, which continues to guide the company under Mark Fields.

He called it One Ford — and along with a lot of hard work, that philosophy transformed the Blue Oval into the profitable, future-oriented automaker we know today.

One Ford Philosophy

Translating One Ford into an feasible operating strategy began with the acknowledgement that Ford is a global automaker and it must leverage its far-flung operations to accelerate new product development while simultaneously reducing its cost.

Toward that end, Ford has been on a mission to consolidate vehicle platforms. As of 2007, Ford produced 105 nameplates across 27 platforms. Among those 27 platforms were two different compact truck architectures, one each for the global and the domestic Ranger. On the eve of the economic downturn that hit automakers in 2008, both Rangers were in need of updates, but the company had insufficient resources to invest in its entire lineup.

Between 2002 and 2007, the compact pickup segment shrank 23 percent in the U.S. and domestic Ranger sales plummeted 57 percent. The cost of consolidating the two Rangers and maintaining its North American presence was not as attractive as other programs. As a result, the domestic Ranger — long a pillar of Ford’s North American lineup — was allowed to lapse. The midsize body-on-frame (BOF) platforms hosting Ranger would need to be consolidated incrementally over time.

The global Ranger lived on, largely through Ford’s close association with Mazda, and received updates in 2006 and 2009. However, the Blue Oval was not only consolidating platforms, but brands as well. Between 2008 and 2010, Ford divested its interest in Mazda, forcing a dramatic change in the next-generation global Ranger’s development. Ford of Australia was selected and its team created the all new 2011 Ranger. Henceforth, Rangers sold in Latin America would shift from their historic North American origin to the new global Ranger designed down under, code-named T6. For a variety of reasons, enumerated elsewhere, Ford elected not to bring the new, larger midsize T6 to North America.

Step one of the incremental Ranger consolidation project was complete. The North American Ranger platform was gone and the Australian development team went on to execute the T6 update for 2015. The same team has been tapped to lead development of the next generation Ranger. Ford will design the new Ranger platform with global manufacturing in mind and spawn multiple other vehicles from the same effort, notably the Everest and Bronco SUVs. Other derivations may follow, but the sales volume supported by these three nameplates alone will justify a new shared BOF platform.

Midsize Trucks

What will the market look like when the new Ranger becomes available to American consumers in 2018?

The midsize pickup segment has grown in the last three years and will post growth of 72 percent since shifting just a quarter of a million units at its nadir in 2013. This compares to 20 percent growth in full-size trucks and 25 percent growth in midsize SUVs over the same period. But the prolific growth rate of the midsize truck segment is not sustainable. Midsize pickup market share in America, at 2.6 percent, is the highest it’s been in the last seven years.

Hot markets attract competition. Toyota and GM recently expanded their midsize truck production capacity and Honda reentered the market with its new Ridgeline. Add to that a new Nissan Frontier, a major update to the GM Colorado/Canyon twins, and a Wrangler pickup, all due by 2018.

If one assumes overall automotive sales stay around 17 million and the midsize truck market grows another 15 percent over the next couple years to account for a full 3.0 percent of the market, there will be demand for approximately 510,000 trucks, against a current installed production capacity of about 550,000. When the Ranger and Wrangler pickup come online, capacity will increase to over 750,000. Manufacturers may be running flexible production lines, which enable product switching and mixing, but the market will not be in equilibrium when capacity exceeds demand by 50 percent, as it is likely. Consumers often benefit in the short-term through price wars, but manufacturers will curtail investment in unhealthy markets.

Toyota and GM are the current market leaders, commanding a combined 76 percent of the midsize truck segment, a share neither will give up easily. However, Automotive News reported in late 2015 that 50 percent of Colorado buyers were conquested from other brands, demonstrating that even historically loyal truck buyers will defect in the face of limited options. Although Jeep is joining the fray, Ford will be well positioned to capitalize. The Ranger’s long-suffering fans, in conjunction with the strength of the Ford brand and its leadership in commercial vehicles, will all but guarantee sufficient demand justifying the expense associated with the Ranger’s return.

Ford will muscle into the market, but is unlikely to rocket back to the one-third share it enjoyed in the early 2000s, much less the one-quarter share it attained in its later years. Ford will be modeling a market share closer to 18 percent in its first couple years back in the market, equating to 80,000 to 100,000 Ranger sales per year. That’s enough demand to keep newly retooled Michigan Assembly humming, but not without a platform mate.

None of this is news to Ford.

Midsize SUVs

Midsize SUV sales have flattened this year, at around 1.95 million units, but they’ll still account for 11.3 percent of the total passenger vehicle sales in the U.S., their highest share ever. Although growth in the midsize SUV segment is slowing and counts at least 20 competitors, it dwarfs the midsize truck segment. For every midsize truck sold in 2016, 4.4 midsize SUVs find homes in American driveways.

FCA is the segment leader at 24 percent of sales, based largely on the strength of Grand Cherokee and Wrangler, which rank second and third behind Explorer. The Durango’s 69,000 units are also material as they push FCA past the number two brand in the segment, Ford, which itself will account for 20.5 percent of segment sales this year.

The forthcoming Bronco will slot into the midsize SUV segment, and more specifically into the unique space presently owned by Wrangler.

Since the launch of the four-door Wrangler in 2007, its rise has been nothing short of meteoric. In 2006, the pre-four-door Wrangler sold 85,000 units north of the Rio Grande, up from 64,000 in 2002. This year, Wrangler will find 210,000 buyers in the U.S., plus another 20,000 in Canada. This off-road oriented, open-top, lifestyle vehicle has defied expectations and would have sold even more units had FCA scheduled sufficient production capacity. Wrangler owners may be known for their legendary loyalty, but die-hard devotion alone does not explain a 170-percent sales explosion over the last decade. The primary driver behind Wrangler’s sales success is four doors.

Ford will have little difficulty tapping into Wrangler’s image-driven lifestyle proposition with the storied Bronco, assuming it features an open-top design. By the time the Bronco arrives, the production constraints that have kept a lid on Wrangler sales will have been removed and the potential of this sub-segment more clearly defined. Regardless, there is already space in the two-million-vehicle midsize SUV segment for Ford to launch a Bronco aimed directly at Wrangler.

Aiming the Bronco at Wrangler makes a lot of sense and will free Ford’s product planners to more narrowly define its other SUV offerings. For example, the Explorer can continue as the modern day interpretation of the station wagon it already is, without attempting to spawn trims aimed at Grand Cherokee, 4Runner, and Discovery. The Edge can continue to develop its two-row urban crossover image. And Flex can be reimagined as the urban oriented three-row almost-minivan it has long sought to be — if Ford decides to continue it. The resurrected Bronco will not mimic the Ford Everest known to consumers outside North America as Ford’s mainstream body-on-frame SUV. An Everest-like Bronco would be too difficult to differentiate versus Explorer. Yes, Ford is designing a new Everest alongside the new Ranger and Bronco, but that doesn’t mean the two SUVs will be one-in-the-same.

The Result

By 2018, Ford will have one global midsize body-on-frame architecture hosting a minimum of one truck and a pair of SUVs. Here’s what may be unexpected: In North America, the Bronco, selling into a vast segment and aimed at a single competitor, could be more popular with consumers than the Ranger.

Ranger may be available before Bronco, but Ford will move rapidly to launch Bronco because it will not only outsell Ranger, but it will be a larger revenue and profit driver with a higher average transaction price.

Sales Prediction: Ranger 90,000, Bronco 140,000

[Image: © Radek Beneš/The Truth About Cars]

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62 Comments on “Here’s Why a Reborn Ford Bronco Could Outsell a Returning Ranger...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Very nice piece.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Would 200,000 plus sales keep the plant humming?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      PrincipalDan -years ago VW said that they’d have to sell 100,000 Amarok’s per year in the USA to make it viable for them to build a NAFTA zone plant. If Ford can sell 90k Rangers and 140k Bronco’s off the same line then they definitely will make money.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    The maths and the general buying preference of the day are certainly.in the Bronco’s favor.

    Personal preference, Ranger hands down.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    It’s possible, I guess…keep in mind Jeep’s pretty much had the market for “serious off-roaders” (and that appears to be where Ford is going with the Bronco) locked up for God knows how long.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I saw an old Ranger last night. It’s a very rational sized vehicle for suburban use, much more so than a full sized pickup.

    It’s a shame there isn’t a pickup that’s about the size of a midsized sedan any more. Even the midsized pickups of today won’t fit in a lot of garages.

    • 0 avatar
      e30gator

      Agreed. The Canyon/Colorado remind me of the Silverados (or at least Dakotas) of yore. A nice basic and cheap pickup like the old Nissan hard body would be the perfect go-to vehicle for tradesmen who don’t need to pull a trailer and suburban folks needing a second vehicle with a pickup bed. I miss my old Ranger and am looking for another. It was the perfect beater pickup.

      • 0 avatar
        dividebytube

        I miss my hardbody Nissan – ended up selling it when the first kid was born. Sure it was underpowered but I still moved a lot of stuff to the dump with it, or home building supplies.

      • 0 avatar
        Nostrathomas

        The vehicle for that tradesman these days is the Transit Connect (and its various competitors). Small, basic, and (relatively) cheap, they do almost everything an urban tradesman needs, without the excess.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @e30gator: What you willing to pay for a certified low-mileage, ’97, 4cyl Ranger? Right now a 2-owner truck well under 30k miles.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    “Sales Prediction: Ranger 90,000, Bronco 140,000”

    I would reverse those figures. Let’s face it, the Bronco will only be a Bronco if it has two doors. With four doors, it’s just another SUV in a crowded sea of SUVs. And two door SUVs are not attractive to most buyers.

    I’ll keep my Ranger comments to myself.

    • 0 avatar

      The rumors I keep hearing all point to two- and four-door versions of Bronco.

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      There used to be many 2-door SUVs available years ago, but they all died out because nobody wants a 2-door SUV. Even when you could buy a 2-door or a 4-door Blazer or Explorer, for example, the 4-door version was always far more popular with buyers.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        I hope they make a 2 door Bronco. However sales suggest it will not work out so well in the end, case in point: the FJ Cruiser. That vehicle was basically a Toyota Bronco and thus should have sold like crazy: CUV + Toyota = win? I’m eager to see how this new Ranger turns out. The GM twins are touch too big, but my Dakota can’t go on forever so at some point a choice has to appear. I’d prefer a small diesel pickup to tow with, but a turbo gasser would work as well. My Dakota is perfect sized but the 4.7l V8 is thirsty.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          The FJ lacked any ability to pop the top, outside of a relatively small sun roof. One of the Wrangler’s main selling points is that roof panels and even the entire roof can be removed and you can get a full, soft-top convertible option (with strong rumors of it becoming an electric retracting roof.)

          That’s probably the main reason the FJ died.

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            The Bronco is also a much stronger brand name and far more recognizable in the US than the Toyota FJ40 [Land Cruiser]. Plus as Ford is an American brand it would appeal better to the no-import crowd (which has some overlap with the hardcore off roughing crowd).

            I think the article is a little optimistic, but the Bronco would probably sell better than the FJ Cruiser did.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @White Shadow: The new Jeep Wrangler both proves and disproves your point in that the 4-door model is notably more popular than the 2-door model. However, that is NOT the reason those other 2-door SUVs died. They died for the simple reason that you couldn’t open them up or, in the case of the full-sized models, the roof was simply too big, too heavy and too clumsy to take off readily–you basically needed a team of people to remove the top. At least with the Wrangler, my wife and I could take the hard top off by ourselves and put it back on relatively easily as it only weighed about 50 pounds (on a 4-door model.) Commenters in other threads have stated the full-sized rigs had tops weighing from 200-350 pounds, needing four to six people (or more) to safely remove them (or an overhead crane of some sort.)

        Without that removable roof, the new Bronco probably won’t do any better than the Toyota FJ.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      To illustrate how much the market has changed, at its peak, the Ranger was selling 250,000 each year in the US market.

      Can (or will) the market shift back in the smaller truck direction? Possibly, but I just don’t see Ford (or anyone else) hitting numbers like this again. Again, we can blame the CUV. Speaking only from my own experience, my Ranger worked well as a suburban commuter vehicle and a weekend hauler while my Maxima carried my ex-wife and the kids. CUVs change this equation somewhat as their carrying capability provide some of the functionality of a small pickup (compared to a sedan), enough to sway people from having to put up with the realities of a body-on-frame vehicle.

      After 17 years without a small truck, I got the Tacoma last year. My personal circumstances changed which allowed me this luxury (a weekend vehicle to support my Home Depot habit). I wonder if I’m typical of people who remember their small trucks fondly enough to propel continued growth in this market. One negative is the trend toward crew cabs with smaller beds (family-hauler trucks). These are far less appealing to me as they have less functionality.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “Can (or will) the market shift back in the smaller truck direction? Possibly, but I just don’t see Ford (or anyone else) hitting numbers like this again. Again, we can blame the CUV. ”

        Can we? Or can we blame the OEMs for moving the mid-sized trucks up to near-full-size while growing the full size to the point you can hardly use them? Personally, bringing in a new, even smaller sized pickup to class as a compact and labeled as a ¼-ton truck would trigger a sudden, large shift away from CUVs back into the pickup market. I could see them doing at least as well as the current mid-sized while the mid-sized trucks will eventually take over the full-sized market and lose their ‘mid-sized’ labels.

        That said, the Ranger, as seen in the Global market, would very probably dominate the American mid-sized market. For whatever reason, Ford just seems to have a popularity that goes far beyond its relatively poor overall quality. Then again, GM isn’t doing much better in the quality area which I think is why the Toyota is dominating the mid-sized truck market.

        I’ve got my small truck–finally. It’s not exactly what I wanted but it is notably smaller than any modern pickup on the road and far more maneuverable. And with it’s low mileage, despite the fact that it is 20 years old it is still practically brand-new. When I replace it, I don’t want something that is feet larger in every dimension.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Vulpine
          “That said, the Ranger, as seen in the Global market, would very probably dominate ”
          It is that slightly smaller size, that makes it easier to maneuver. Holden and Ford Utes were extremely popular because they were car based and very maneurable. In the Ford’s case a 2,700lb payload and could tow 5,000lb.
          Death of the car killed the Utes

          The last F150 was built in Australia in 1992 and not missed( from Canadian Ford parts). They were still building Ford Utes several months ago.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Vulpine
          “That said, the Ranger, as seen in the Global market, would very probably dominate ”
          It is that slightly smaller size, that makes it easier to maneuver. Holden and Ford Utes because they were car based and very maneurable. In the Ford’s case a 2,700lb payload and could tow 5,000lb.

          The last F150 was built in Australia in 1992 and not missed( from Canadian Ford parts). They were still building Ford Utes several months ago.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “’Sales Prediction: Ranger 90,000, Bronco 140,000’”
      • “I would reverse those figures. Let’s face it, the Bronco will only be a Bronco if it has two doors. With four doors, it’s just another SUV in a crowded sea of SUVs. And two door SUVs are not attractive to most buyers.”

      Agreed; I expect the Ranger will do far, far better than the Bronco as currently rendered by artists. Granted, we have no real concept of how it will be equipped but I expect if one specific thing is missing, the Bronco will flop.

      As to the Ranger itself… I like the looks of the current model, though I’m not sure of its size. I’m not the strongest fan of Fords by any means but the current Ranger is just about the least ego-boost-styled truck out there expected for the US market.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      Is the 4 door Wrangler lost in a sea of similar SUVs?

      Yeah, I mistook one for a Highlander just yesterday.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      There isn’t much of a market for any 2 door vehicle. Wrangler sales took off with the addition of 2 more doors. The same magic happened with 1/2 ton pickups. A 2 door Bronco would be a low volume niche vehicle.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Get Mattel onboard and a Barbie Bronco will become legend.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    First, we’re told by Ford the Bronco will take on the Wrangler. People originally touted Toyota’s FJ the same. This never occurred.

    I do believe the Ranger will outsell the Bronco by a long shot.

    My logic lies in the fact if Ford is serious about the Bronco it will ve quite rustic and the Ranger much more refined and SUV like. This will appeal to a broader audience. If Ford doesn’t fnck it the US Ranger will force other mid size manufactuers to improve their mid size pickup offerings.

    Remember, the Jeep is treated more as an accessory to those who buy them (many), essentially wanna’bes. There are so many wanna bes around.

    Factor a decline in vehicles sold (the author gave an unrealistic figure of 17 million) the expanding midsize pickup segment cannabalising sales from SUV/CUV and 1/2 ton pickups I still see lots of room for midsize pickups to be sold.

    It also appears cheap fuel prices have not given full size pickups an advantage one could of expected. Even with 17 million vehicles moved full size numbers have not reached the popularity they once had. So the the data suggests full sizers are on a decline overall, with midsizers showing massive improvement.

    This bodes well for the Ranger, even if its late to the party.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The thing about fashion accessories is that everyone wants the latest thing. So many of those people who bought the Wrangler as a fashion accessory are likely to switch to the Bronco, especially if it is more civilized than the Wrangler, but not so civilized that it doesn’t look like it could be a serious off road vehicle. But I agree I don’t expect the Bronco to outsell the Ranger. There are a lot of auto parts stores, pool cleaners, and other trades that are due for a new Ranger and all those gov’t fleets will happily switch from the Colorado back to the Ranger.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        What you state is true. Except most attempts at fads fail Scoutdude. At best the Bronco might last several years or so.

        Fads like the Bronco attempt to profit from the Wrangler is much harder. The Wrangler is iconic, a culture. The Bronco isn’t, in comparison its name doesn’t have nowheres the street creed as the Wrangler.

        The Bronco name sits between a Trabant and Wrangler. The LR 110/130, Hilux, Landcruiser have significantly more off road statue/value than …… what’s that Ford again, oh the Bronco.

        I believe if a LR 110 or 130 was used instead of the Bronco it would be more successful (of course this ain’t happening).

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          The thing is that something new has to come along to replace the current fashion accessory. The fact that nothing new has come along is why the Wrangler is doing as well as it has. With Bronco and Wrangler the market will be saturated and not worth it for another mfg to attempt to bring something to market. However as a whole the segment will eventually loose it’s cache and the Wrangler sales will fall in lock step as the Bronco’s does once they have settled out.

          So yes I agree that its life span will be limited and the likelihood of a second generation will be low. Meanwhile Ford will have sucked the wind out of the Wrangler’s sails. Seriously the women that are buying the Wrangler now as a mall cruiser will gladly move to a more civilized Bronco as long as it looks tough enough. Meanwhile Jeep will have to stick to making the Wrangler crude enough to keep the “hard core” off roaders interested.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Sort of like a tee shirt and jeans?

            Don’t see that occurring unless your new POTUS bullies the consumer.

            If one looks at car fads (or any fads) and toys you see the basic infantile similarities.

            So Lego rules, Barbie dolls, etc. Thesr have been around for decades like the Jeep Wrangler style 4×4, sold by Jeep.

            Many attempts have been made to overthrow Lego and Barbies. It hasn’t occurred.

            The Bronco will not achieve. Its good to have choice, but the Bronco is no Lego, Barbie, tee shirt and jeans.

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          Oh yes, bafo, every Ford model will only sell 5,000 a year once the Ranger arrives. Because *everyone* wants a midsize truck.

          Keep dreamin, and keep your head down unda, your comments and predictions are hilarious.

  • avatar
    B_C_R

    Autoblog said that there is a report that Dana corporation is going to be providing solid front and rear axles for the Bronco, which would make it a competitor with the Wrangler.

    If this comes to fruition, and if Ford can build the Bronco with better build quality than FCA does with the Wrangler, I’ll buy one.

    • 0 avatar
      Goatshadow

      As a former Wrangler JKU owner I would be very willing to give a Bronco at least a test drive and a good look over. They would need to make it as easy to work on (and modify) as the Jeep, however. At least through the 3.8 version of the Wrangler, there is a simplicity and accessability to its parts that not even pickup trucks have anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The reality is that Ford has said they will use Dana’s new fuel efficient AdvanTEK differential and anyone who says that Dana + straight axle is either speculating or practicing click-bait.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    Again with the “Here’s Why” headline disease. It really cheapens an article to have those unnecessary words up top.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      But, it gives you something to complain about, doesn’t it?

      Mommy, there’s too many words in this headline! I need a nap after reading them all!

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    The Bronco selling as a competitor to the Wrangler may do okay but it will also have some pretty big shoes to fill. I, personally, don’t see it happening that the Bronco will out-sell the Ranger •unless• the Bronco can offer a soft-top version and both 2- and 4-door versions while retaining its Bronco throw-back looks such as we’ve seen from multiple renderings. Don’t forget that the ’70s-vintage Bronco II, based on the Ranger of the time, ended up becoming the 4-door Explorer when Ford decided to take the Bronco full-sized. The Explorer of today is nothing like that older version and I don’t necessarily mean that in a good way.

    The Bronco, to be successful against the Wrangler, needs to LOOK like an off-road vehicle. Even today’s Jeep Renegade looks more off-road capable than its Cherokee and Grand Cherokee siblings, which seems to be one of the reasons it is so remarkably popular despite its Italian underpinnings. Make it look like the Everest and the Bronco will effectively die on the vine. Take away the more truly outdoorsy parts like a removable/convertible roof and it will do no better than the Toyota FJ Cruiser, which has been discontinued.

    So it not only has to have the looks, but it needs that open-air experience that currently only the Wrangler and the Renegade seem to offer.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      The Bronco lacks the nostalgic tradition of the Wrangler.

      So, even before the Bronco is released it has an uphill battle to win over those who would prefer the Wrangler. This effect is similar to how a brand fan brain functions.

      Maybe some Ford fans will buy a Bronco, but I see a potential midsize pickup person changing brands, especially if the Ranger can demonstrate the difference it has over much of the competition in the global market.

      • 0 avatar
        John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

        “The Bronco lacks the nostalgic tradition of the Wrangler.”

        Really? Which nameplate is older?

        Note, not all Jeeps that vaguely resemble the WW II-era gp were called “Wrangler”.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      The Bronco II was not from the 1970s.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      The Bronco II was pathetic. I don’t know why people pine away for early 80’s era Rangers or any small truck of that era. I owned an ’84 Ranger. I wouldn’t want another one.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    What about a Mustang with an 8ft bed?
    What about less puff pieces?

  • avatar
    VoGo

    140K for the Bronco? In annual sales? I’ll take the ‘under’ on that bet.

    Name the last time a brand new product (which this essentially is, given that the old Bronco was killed 20 years ago) sold > 100K? Prius? Or Rouge. What has the FJ Cruiser been selling – maybe 20K.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      May as well say “Milliondy! Guaranteed!”.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      The FJ Cruiser hasn’t been selling at all, its been discontinued since 2014 in LHD markets, but held on until last year in RHD markets.

      FJ Cruiser did not offer multiple bodystyles, nor a removable top, as the Bronco is supposed to have.

      Some people (not many) bought it because it looked cooler than a 4Runner, and they didn’t have kids to haul around.

      Look how well the 4 door Wrangler has sold. An off-road capable SUV that can be substituted for mom’s minivan when the situation calls for it? Win.

      (This is not to say the Bronco or the 4 door Wrangler do/will seat 7, not at all. Only that they are/will be far more practical than the FJ Cruiser was.)

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The Everest????

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      Excellent guess! A thirstier, more expensive drag on their CAFE ratings, an alternative to the best-selling Explorer. Brilliant!

      Don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather see the Everest here than the CUV Exlorer, but it ain’t gonna happen, son.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    I have a 2-door Wrangler and I can easily see why 4-door is more popular… except that for me that could easily be rectified by a better seat design. Seats in Wrangler do not remember their position when seatbacks are flipped forward. Yet I had a 2-door econobox in 1990s where they did. It clearly is not a difficult problem for a mechanical engineer, it’s just Chrysler never wanted to make a minimum effort to help 2-door to succeed.

    Wrangler 4-door has other practical advantages besides the access to the rear bench. It’s longer and one can transport longer items inside, as well as sleep in the back. Its fuel tank is larger. It is rated to tow more (in some model years). So it’s no wonder that it sells. Any loss of the ramp angle can easily be reclaimed by lifting.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Plan B – F150 based Bronco. I liked the big Bronco more than the little one. How many people on this blog have been in both?

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Plan B – F150 based Bronco. I liked the big Bronco more than the little one. How many people on this blog have been in both?”

      Been in both, always felt the F-150 version was simply too big and clunky. Even the original was big, but no bigger than the current Wrangler by comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I’ve had friends with and driven both the big and early Bronco. They both have their charms but I’d take an early one. Heck I might even take a II over a Biggie.

  • avatar
    TybeeJim

    Had two Rangers, loved them both. Just the right size for occasional truck needs and it fit in the garage. As for sales, don’t ignore fleet sales to entities like small local govt agencies. My beach town has 5-6 Rangers still for parking staff, DPW use, etc. one only has to look at the relative success of the Transit Connect. Not everyone needs an F-250 or even a 150!


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