By on December 20, 2018

Image: Ford

Relaunching the Bronco is a no-brainer for North America. With credits like Longmire and the O.J. Simpson police chase under its belt, there is just too much buzz around the model not to bring it back. Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn’t have the same rich history with the vehicle — leaving them in the lurch.

The 2020 Ford Bronco will be left-hand drive only, not a global sensation, according to Ford Australia. 

“There’s nothing to announce. There are currently no plans in place for a right-hand drive Bronco,” Kay Hart, President and CEO of Ford Australia/New Zealand, told CarSales’ Down Under division.

That’s not to suggest it’ll never get there, though. Kay’s comments came at the launch of the new Ford Endura — which you’ve known for the last year as the second-generation Edge. Sometimes it takes a while for a vehicle to make the rounds and have its steering wheel re-glued to the opposing side, and this appears to be one of those instances.

Hart was asked to clarify if that meant Ford had no plans to introduce the Bronco and yet-to-be-named Bronco Jr. for the Aussie market. “Not currently,” she reiterated. “Clearly it’s going to be a great vehicle, but we are extremely happy with the performance of Ranger here.”

“That’s not to say we don’t continually look at other products within Ford, but Ranger is doing such a fantastic job here. We’re happy with the line-up as it stands, but that’s not to say we wouldn’t look to add to the range in future.”

While Ford might be happy with its current Aussie lineup, its consumers could be another story. The next Bronco seems like just the sort of thing they’d be into — something presenting itself as rugged and is ute adjacent. Unless the Bronco is a miserable failure in North America (unlikely), it seems like Ford would likely want to give it a shot on the Australian market eventually. Ford’s initial announcement even referred to the upcoming Bronco as a “global model.”

While former Ford engineering chief Raj Nair said the Bronco would not be a rebadged version of the Ranger-based Everest SUV, there may still be too much overlap between the two vehicles for the automaker to feel immediately comfortable throwing the Bronco into the mix right away. Australia and other right-hand drive regions will have to wait, regardless. If there truly is no plan for right-hand drive, it’ll take the company some time to get its ducks in row.

We’re sad for Australia but must admit it feels a little good that Ford’s launching a vehicle that, if only for a while, will be exclusively American — even if it’s based on a globetrotting pickup that we only just received.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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18 Comments on “Ford’s Bronco: Not So Global After All...”

  • avatar

    T6 Ranger was global program with North America excluded from 2012 up to 2019.
    T6 based body on frame SUV Everest is global with North America excluded.
    Focus is global with North America now excluded.
    Fiesta is global with North America now excluded.

    Global is very loose interpretation at the Blue Oval.

    Ford and GM are becoming more fragmented in their product distribution as Honda, Toyota, FCA, Nissan, Hyundai are all working to reduce product differentiation across regions.

  • avatar

    I think not offering RHD is very short-sighted, why eliminate so much potential market?

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Here’s a good deal on a running driving 94 Bronco for a mere $1800.
    It’s even in white so cue the jokes.

  • avatar

    Most of the world’s car manufacturers build their cars so they can be assembled either LHD or RHD. Only the Americans are so short sighted.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      If this is a North America only product, why would they do both? The platform can obviously accommodate both, but Rangers from Wayne are also LHD only. No need to add complexity to the factory if they aren’t selling it in RHD markets. They could always tool up Wayne or Thailand in the future if necessary.

      Also, Ford only makes a few products that are not RHD. F-Series, D-platform vehicles, and Lincoln models since it is a US/Canada/Mexico/China brand. That is it right now.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    161 countries follow the right hand drive system. 75 countries drive on the left side of the road. I remember in the 1960’s and 1970’s, a whole bunch of countries switched from right-hand-drive to left, then the trend stopped. I do not desire to start a flame war here, but I do not understand why more and more countries do not do this switch. Right-hand-drive makes more sense, and is more intuitive and natural for the majority of the populace. Having all vehicles engineered and assembled with their steering systems on the left would also allow for cost reductions, as carmakers would not have to homologate for left-hand-drive, which trust me, is a PITA for them.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      What is the population of RHD vs LHD nations? That is what matters. India is the largest RHD I can think of. China, The US, and most of Europe are LHD.

    • 0 avatar

      Your post is very confusing to follow because you keep on switching between talking about right/left hand traffic and right/left hand drive and using the two interchangeably. You say RHD is more intuitive then say all steering systems should be on the left.

      Right hand traffic, drive on the right = left hand drive, steering wheel on left side (i.e. the US, continental Europe, China most of the rest of the world)
      Left hand traffic, drive on the left = right hand drive, steering wheel on right side (i.e. UK, Japan, and former UK colonies liek India and South Africa)

    • 0 avatar

      “Right-hand-drive makes more sense, and is more intuitive and natural for the majority of the populace.”


    • 0 avatar

      At one time, there was a logical reason for riding on the left side of the road; you wanted to keep your sword arm towards oncoming riders so you could effectively fight off bandits or enemies. With the vast majority of right-hand-drive countries having been British colonies, you can see why those few countries still use the left side of the road.

      The more sensible means and which most of the rest of the world has used is left-hand-drive, where you keep your shield towards your opposite. This reduces the risk of a combative clash and essentially has both travelers riding defensive rather than offensive.

  • avatar

    Judging by that rendering, it looks like all they did was take a Jeep Renegade and put a different nose on it.

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