By on July 14, 2020

2021 Ford Bronco Sport

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.”

2021 Ford Bronco Sport

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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22 Comments on “With Bronco Fam, Ford Rolls Out the Welcome Mat for New Buyers...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    All that is well and good, but if it’s plagued with recalls and reliability issues or if dealers are caught gouging prices then they can put a fork in it. People want something new and fun, but are tired of getting screwed

  • avatar
    ravenuer

    Cmon already TTAC. Is Ford paying you for all these articles?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    200k annual sales?! That would be impressive. Hopefully for Ford, it’s sustainable.

    From a distance I like the Sport for its pricing, but the BOF version for its capability.

    The Bronco may scratch an itch that the FJ Cruiser never did. The FJ Cruiser had the looks, but the cold, hard, small interior and terrible fuel economy were a turnoff.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      On the FJ, I’ve wondered how it would do now in the age of 360 degree cameras. When I test drove one, I hated the visibility in any direction but directly forward and I wondered how you’d really get on 4 wheeling that (if you actually care about your vehicle, sometimes you have to back up). I really wanted to like it but couldn’t bring myself to because of that and the cramped-ness of it.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      There’s no reason the Bronco Sport alone shouldn’t have 200,000 in sales – assuming it has the capacity. I’d never buy a Mexican ford with a three cylinder engine, but the market is crying out for a practical small CUV that is more butch than origami.

      • 0 avatar
        N8iveVA

        “I’d never buy a Mexican ford with a three cylinder engine” Then you buy the 4 cylinder like 80% of the buyers. But yeah, you still get the made in Mexico part. :(

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    I had a new Escape as a rental recently. It was better than I expected but in the Ford tradition, when you press the accelerator you’re actually sending a request for power to a committee. The committee schedules a meeting, then reads the minutes of the last meeting. Eventually your request is taken up and debated and may or may not be approved.
    Trying to merge into traffic is downright dangerous. Under certain conditions you just don’t get any power, it’s pathetic. You just have to give up and stay in your lane, you’re not passing anyone. Those small motors make good torque – when they feel like it.
    Ford sucks.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      EBflex is that you???

      In any event I need to really test drive an Ecoboost CUV/SUV to see where your coming from although I did drive mom’s A6 equipped EB Mustang and while I didn’t particularly care for the way the trans and engine worked together on the 900 mile road trip I never found myself in mortal danger.

      To be frank I have to take your comment with a grain of salt. I lived through the malaise era and drove plenty of vehicles from the late malaise where lane changes required strategic planning in order to change lanes or merge. I doubt seriously anything produced in the last ten to fifteen years is even remotely in that category. Especially with an engine equipped with a pint sized turbo or brace of Lilliputian turbos that practically ride on the edge of boost from the moment the engine cranks up.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Your description of throttle response is spot-on for my former 02 Passat V6 and my 13 Optima Hybrid. Both have been downright dangerous at times.

      While I understand (but hate) the hybrid’s hesitation, the VW’s normally-aspirated V6 should have jumped every time. Instead, the 190-HP engine just sat there while traffic bore down with horns blowing.

      Even the lamest EVs have great throttle response, and that may be my greatest attraction to them.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      245 hp isn’t enough for you? That’s the engine most people buy.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      My parents have an Ecoboost Escape. I daily a Corvette so every car is “slow” to me but I’ve got no complaints with the boosted Ford. Like most drive-by-wire cars (even my C7) there is some non-linear throttle behavior especially at tip-in but you adjust soon enough.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    >> 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!).

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “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

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @tomLU86 – I do agree that restored Bronco’s are the current fad. The selling prices are obscene. Ford is more likely tapping into that trend as opposed to any “long lost love” for the originals. I don’t think it will “out Jeep a Jeep” but as long as it will run toe to toe with a Jeep, it will do fine. I see more “small” Bronco’s now than I ever did in the 70’s or 80’s.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        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.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      To be fair 200k is for all 3 variants. Wrangler does right around 200k by itself So the big ones doing 100K between them seems plausable. The Escape used to be at the top of the charts moving over 300k per year when it looked more like a SUV, and it is in the 200k now. So I could see it picking back up some of those buyers who liked the first gen Escape and have been turned off by the current Escapes less than rugged looking design.

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