With Bronco Fam, Ford Rolls Out the Welcome Mat for New Buyers

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
with bronco fam ford rolls out the welcome mat for new buyers

The Bronco family, as Ford calls the trifecta composed of the Bronco Two-Door, Four-Door, and Bronco Sport, has a singular mission: to leverage the fond memories and emotions generated by a storied nameplate to lure new buyers to the brand, boosting the automaker’s volume and profitability.

Despite the pandemic, Ford’s expectations haven’t changed. And the ideal buyers of any member of the Bronco family isn’t someone who can take advantage of Plan Pricing.

Yes, Ford doesn’t want a returning buyer to choose between the Ranger and Bronco — it wants people who weren’t previously considering a Ford to see an image of the Bronco running free across a dusty plain or grassy plateau, suddenly realize what their life is missing, and rush to the online configurator (or dealer) in a mad panic.

Last week, Ford’s president of the Americas, Kumar Galhotra, told CNBC that the company expects the volume added to its sales sheet to be in the hundreds of thousands.

“It’s such an emotional product, and we see a lot of value in that brand,” he said. “That should in turn create significant value for the company.”

That emotion is key, and it forms a big part of Ford’s current product strategy. Why else would Ford opt to call its upcoming four-door electric SUV the Mustang Mach-E and not, say, the EcoSpark or some ridiculous thing?

With regard to the Bronco Sport, Ford made sure the Escape-based model didn’t mirror its sibling too much. The model boasts a shorter wheelbase, wider track, unique AWD system, and varies greatly in terms of suspension, ground clearance, and off-roadability. And, of course, there’s the design and model-specific features and accessories. As for the Bronco, it’s not stepping heavily on any toes in the lineup.

“They’re going to add substantial volume to the company and they’re going to be growth volume because none of the vehicles exist today,” Galhotra said. “It is a net-add to the portfolio, net-add to volume and profitable volume.”

Speaking to Automotive News, Ford’s U.S. consumer marketing manager, Mark Grueber, said early projections for the Bronco family haven’t changed on account of the pandemic. The automaker told dealers, pre-virus, that it anticipates 200,000 annual sales among the three vehicles, with the four-door Bronco outpacing sales of the two-door.

“The customer for Bronco and Bronco Sport is a bit different than the mass market,” Grueber said. “Interest is still extremely strong.”

By all accounts, that interest reached a fever pitch last night. Ford’s order site was having difficulty keeping up with the number of $100 reservations flung at the Dearborn company. Were all these prospective owners brand newbies? Not a chance. But if they saw something in Bronco they didn’t see anywhere else in the lineup and felt compelled to make a buy, that’s still a win for Ford.

Join the Ford Bronco Forum here.

Join the Ford Bronco Sport Forum here.

[Images: Ford]

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6 of 22 comments
  • Dividebytube Dividebytube on Jul 14, 2020

    >> to leverage the fond memories and emotions I don't have any fond memories of the Bronco; or any at all except for seeing OJ's white Bronco slow police "chase". Or in an occasional Cannon or Barnaby Jones episode, given the huge number of Ford vehicles on those shows. But yes, I could see one in my driveway. But I'll wait for the hype to die down, the prices get closer to MSRP, and the first year of issues are fixed (if ever!).

    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jul 14, 2020

      "to leverage the fond memories and emotions" A buddy had an "original era" Bronco back in the early 80's. I don't look at it nostalgically. It was lifted on 35's with a 302 shoehorned into it. It had vinyl seats and the interior was mostly metal. It rode rough and was loud and crude. He had fun with it though. It was the only Bronco I recall other than the full sized pickup variant which was plentiful. Around the time of the 1983 Trading Places movie, another buddy had the full sizer Bronco on 40's. A couple of us would make dollar bets on when he'd f^ck something up on it. That poor truck had a real rough life. LOL

  • TomLU86 TomLU86 on Jul 14, 2020

    It’s such an emotional product, and we see a lot of value in that brand,” he said. “That should in turn create significant value for the company.” Corporate doubletalk at it's finest--aka unmitigated BS! Given the ho-hum (IMO) Ranger, I don't think this will be that special. Will it out-Jeep a Jeep? Probably not. Will it flip over like the Ranger-derived Bronco II, or be like on Explorer on Firestones? I doubt it (and I certainly hope not!). Will it have all the quality of the new Explorer/Aviator? To be seen. Before COVID, this things success would be inversely proportional to it's price--and you can bet it will be overpriced, because, after all, our man at Ford tells us, it's such an 'emotional' product. Mediocrity (which in 2020 is a pretty high bar, granted) trying to masquerade as something more. I concede it is a better effort than GM's Blazer (which is an affront to the original Blazer). I also concede that old original Broncos (which I never EVER saw on the streets in the late 1970s, or ever, until a few years ago during the Woodward Cruise) are selling for lots of money these days. And that may be the reason for the delusion of sales numbers. Of course, they do this for a living, I do not. I could be wrong. But I think COVID will validate my views. After the initial surge of interest, I think Ford will be lucky to sell 10 thousand a month.

    • See 2 previous
    • Scoutdude Scoutdude on Jul 15, 2020

      @Lou_BC It out Jeeps the Jeep in many ways right off the bat. Sasquatch on the base model blows away anything from Jeep for the person who wants bang for the buck in a capable off-road vehicle. With the 4.7 gears as part of that package you could go to 37's without the need for a re-gear once you outgrow the 35's and you know it won't be long before someone makes the flares and/or lift to make it happen IF you can't do it as is. The open vehicle experience for the 4dr looks like it blows away the Wrangler for the crowd who buys the Unlimited mainly because it is the only 4dr open car and that crown is what made the Wrangler sales take off. Side curtain air bags and mirrors with the doors off will appeal to the mommy crowd too.

  • Brett Woods My 4-Runner had a manual with the 4-cylinder. It was acceptable but not really fun. I have thought before that auto with a six cylinder would have been smoother, more comfortable, and need less maintenance. Ditto my 4 banger manual Japanese pick-up. Nowhere near as nice as a GM with auto and six cylinders that I tried a bit later. Drove with a U.S. buddy who got one of the first C8s. He said he didn't even consider a manual. There was an article about how fewer than ten percent of buyers optioned a manual in the U.S. when they were available. Visited my English cousin who lived in a hilly suburb and she had a manual Range Rover and said she never even considered an automatic. That's culture for you.  Miata, Boxster, Mustang, Corvette and Camaro; I only want manual but I can see both sides of the argument for a Mustang, Camaro or Challenger. Once you get past a certain size and weight, cruising with automatic is a better dynamic. A dual clutch automatic is smoother, faster, probably more reliable, and still allows you to select and hold a gear. When you get these vehicles with a high performance envelope, dual-clutch automatic is what brings home the numbers. 
  • ToolGuy 2019 had better comments than 2023 😉
  • Inside Looking Out In June 1973, Leonid Brezhnev arrived in Washington for his second summit meeting with President Richard Nixon. Knowing of the Soviet leader’s fondness for luxury automobiles, Nixon gave him a shiny Lincoln Continental. Brezhnev was delighted with the present and insisted on taking a spin around Camp David, speeding through turns while the president nervously asked him to slow down. https://academic.oup.com/dh/article-abstract/42/4/548/5063004
  • Bobby D'Oppo Great sound and smooth power delivery in a heavier RWD or AWD vehicle is a nice blend, but current V8 pickup trucks deliver an unsophisticated driving experience. I think a modern full-size pickup could be very well suited to a manual transmission.In reality, old school, revvy atmo engines pair best with manual transmissions because it's so rewarding to keep them in the power band on a winding road. Modern turbo engines have flattened the torque curve and often make changing gears feel more like a chore.
  • Chuck Norton For those worried about a complex power train-What vehicle doesn't have one? I drive a twin turbo F-150 (3.5) Talk about complexity.. It seems reliability based on the number of F-150s sold is a non-issue. As with many other makes/models. I mean how many operations are handle by micro processors...in today's vehicles?