By on April 12, 2021

bronco

If you have Bronco on the brain, you may find yourself buying one from a store that stands separate from your local Ford dealer.

A report in Automotive News says that some dealers plan to open standalone Bronco stores. The story further reports that the idea came from dealers, not the manufacturer. Ford did create renderings for how the stores look, at the dealers’ request, and will give those dealers who open a store a slightly larger allotment of Broncos.

Only about 100 dealers out of the approximately 3,300 Ford stores in the U.S. seem to be planning on building the Bronco stores so far. They will be mostly connected to existing dealerships or located nearby, and they will use the Bronco’s horse logo instead of the Ford blue oval.

It’s likely that other variants of the Bronco nameplate will be sold at these stores. That would mean the full-size Bronco and the already on-sale Bronco Sport compact in the near term, plus any further offshoots in the future.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Jeep is planning what AN says is “hundreds” of standalone showrooms of its own. This makes sense, as your author has heard via the industry grapevine that Jeep wants to position the upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer as a subbrand.

The Bronco stores will likely be 3,800 square-foot buildings with an outdoor fire pit, indoor wall for accessory, and enough space to display three vehicles. There will be black paneled siding, gray stone for the entrance, and wood accents on the exterior. Very outdoorsy.

At least one dealer, who is no doubt biased, seems excited. From AN: “It’s an announcement to the world we’re back; the Bronco is back,” Tim Hovik, owner of San Tan Ford in Gilbert, Az., said. “It’s such an iconic product that in an absolute way, we feel a Ford dealer is really adding almost an additional franchise.” Hovik is also the chairman of Ford’s national dealer council.

Ford wants to make clear that it’s optional for a dealer to build one of these stores. Andrew Frick, Ford’s U.S. sales boss, told AN that Ford has three ways for dealers to put the spotlight on the highly anticipated off-roader. One is the separate store, of course. Another would be an expansion of the existing showroom. Finally, dealers could simply add displays to a showroom.

“So we have an option for pretty much any budget, and as we’ve repeated several times, it’s all strictly optional,” he told Automotive News.

That bit about the stores being optional is important. It’s almost an afterthought in the AN piece, but the story notes that Ford will NOT be requiring dealers to spend money on upgrading facilities in order to sell Broncos.

Instead, those who have the budget can choose to do so.

If you’re curious to see the renderings, browse over to AN, if you have a sub.

[Image: Ford]

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46 Comments on “Report: Ford to Build Standalone Bronco Stores...”


  • avatar
    deanst

    Ford and Stellantis are morphing into the places to go if you want low quality pickups and Jeep-like vehicles – and little else.

  • avatar
    Mike Beranek

    Window dressing.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    it’s really weird because the buyers today might think the orig Bronco was some kind of iconic thing, like the Mini

    it wasn’t

    the extended launch: Ford is great at ginning up demand for something no one really was pining for

  • avatar
    IH_Fever

    Sounds like a great business model. Have a Bronco store, then when sales stagnate, make it a different store. Can’t do that with the Fiesta I guess, name is already taken by a grocer…

  • avatar
    sentience

    Be interesting to see if that approach works out for them. 3,800 showroom is utterly tiny – your typical Mcdonald’s is 4,500 sqft.

    Think less dealership, and more experience center. Like the ski shop built into a ski lodge. Realistically, if Ford is moving towards direct to customer sales (TESLA!) or something like Volvo’s all exclusive rental program, this kind of approach makes more sense.

    You’d still need to go to Papa Ford’s for service, but at least you’ll have a couture buying experience. Or even go the Genesis route. Call your Bronco experience center, and have one of their folks drive your car to get serviced while leaving you a loaner.

    At the top end, these Broncos and Jeeps are hitting the 50k, 60k mark. Near double what most Americans are paying new. At this point, these “extreme outdoor” vehicles are rapidly becoming their own class of luxury vehicle.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Ford is wisely learning from the Fiat fiasco.

  • avatar

    This seems really stupid. More property, expenses, staff, to sell things that people would already come to a Ford shop to buy. There will not be Bronco conquest customers because there’s a different shop for it.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I could see it really working actually. Rawwwr come over and see the expensive Bronco you can’t afford! Now here’s a cheaper Not Bronco you could maybe afford! Can’t swing that? Here is an even *cheaper* Not Bronco! This has pretty much been the Jeep model line since about 2012, seems to work.

      • 0 avatar

        But are there independent Jeep stores? I have never seen one.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          There were at one time though I think most if not all were merged with other Chrysler marques after Eagle was discontinued around 1996/7. If any did exist after, they would have been forced to merge in 2009 with the other marques or closed.

          Per this source, it seems Stellantis may allow them again:

          https://www.motorbiscuit.com/jeep-standalone-dealerships-may-be-the-future-but-maybe-not-for-long/

          I personally thought “the every brand under one roof” move in 2009/10 was a very good move by Fiat. Unless PSA isn’t bringing over its marques, I’m puzzled why Jeep would be allowed to stand alone (unless the plan is, not bring over PSA *and* axe everything else).

          • 0 avatar

            I think we will see PSA cars reworked as Chrysler/Dodge. And I think they could be competitive in sort of the space Buick has vacated for Comfort Sedans.

            Don’t think FCA needs PSA crossovers or minivan, but everything else is certainly lacking.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Keeping the French branding would be wiser than a rebadge. By this point, less general hate in USDM for the Peugeot or Citroën marques than Dodge or Chrysler both the latter are guilty of some automotive atrocities in more recent decades.

          • 0 avatar

            I think they’d have a hard time selling the Peugeot badge because it’s furrin and Franch and probally “unrulaialbe”.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Despite such a mentality, Voltswagen still sold 355K units last year and hicks are not the target demographic for a Peugeot, Citroën, or even an Opel [gasp]!

            The more I think about it, they may just axe the Chrysler marque and keep Jeep-Dodge-Ram together (or mercifully rejoin Ram to Dodge because that’s what they are) and PSA comes over in its own dealerships if it comes over at all. A PSA marque buyer may only overlap with a Jeep buyer (and Alfa/Fiat buyer) in terms of demographics, I can’t see the Dodge and Ram people cross shopping Euro marques. Yet I know FCA-PSA-Viagra isn’t going to just ditch its profitable truck division, but at the same time it would be unwise to replicate GM’s multiple dealer distribution channel structure.

            Maybe keep Dodge as niche performance (or merge Dodge and Ram), replace Chrysler with Opel and/or Citroën to go with Jeep et al. I feel as if one of the PSA marques should come over.

          • 0 avatar

            I agree, and I think we will get something PSA. They wouldn’t spend all that development money on NA-only product for what are frankly, damaged sedan brands these days.

            Wouldn’t it be funny if the Buick Regal became a new Chrysler Cirrus.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I suspect the PSA thing happened because of the same reason Fiat got involved in 2009: Jeep and Dodge Trucks/Ram. I’m sure the LX as a profit center didn’t hurt, and if PSA wants to bring its wares here it now has a dealer network at its disposal. I just wonder how the combined company can reconcile its very different offerings: Jeep/Dodge/Ram and at least five Euro marques I can think of: Fiat, Alfa, Peugeot, Citroen, and Opel. Maybe they can somehow make a BPG style store out of it, expensive ass trucks alongside cars?

            “Wouldn’t it be funny if the Buick Regal became a new Chrysler Cirrus.”

            LOL.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      @Corey:

      I think it’s more about brand-building. Will it work? As with all business ideas, the answer is “maybe, maybe not.” But I don’t think it’s a bad idea. They can just devote part of the showroom to “Bronco product”.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      Ford executives are out of touch.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    I’m sure the closed Hummer dealerships from 2010 would love to get back in the game of fad-SUV selling again.
    Once pent up demand (and there is some) is met, then they’ll have to sell on how good they are, and Ford has been known to drop the ball on that one.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Not sure what GM has planned but I’d say for this year at least its EV offerings will be purposely made niche in order to maintain profitability and exclusivity but also so as to not have a bunch sitting unsold and embarrassing them.

      I’m sure someone was drinking Kool Aide and thought otherwise, but I could have told you in 2016 to not sell the Bolt as a mainstream car and instead offer it in limited markets with something special about them (customizable trims? a faux tough edition? giant wheels?) because it was never going to carry much volume.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      Lol…no doubt. Remember Hummer cologne?

      Makes more sense to have Raptor only stores, at least they have an established following….and it’s still a stupid idea.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        ^ This!

        Not nearly enough volume to support the idea, however!

        I kinda think the whole Bronco thing is going to go down in flames! The Sport and Escape will get all the mainstream sales, and after the initial demand is satisfied, you’ll have Broncos littering the lots until Ford puts a crap-ton of cash on the hoods. Ford may regret adding the Bronco Sport as an alternative in that case, since it is probably enough for those who might want something a bit more buffed-up than the Escape.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Bronco gets their own store but Lincoln still sits behind a shear curtain in the corner of the Ford showroom. Don’t get me wrong it’s a very nice curtain… and a fancy chandelier for when you want to feel special plopping down $90K for a Navigator

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    How To Tell The Difference:

    – The Bronco dealer has an outdoor fire pit.

    – The Ford dealer *is* a pit.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    Why don’t they just build some Broncos and stop talking about it? Too much buildup is anti-climactic. What is it, a shortened, modified Ranger platform? Is it that big of a deal?

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Hilarious. A standalone store to sell their low quality junk.

    Hopefully, the service bays will be plentiful to fix the fake Jeep

  • avatar
    The Comedian

    Did a big drive a couple days ago (GA to CT) and spotted the first new Bronco I’ve seen somewhere in PA.

    In person it looked like a very small, very cheap cute ute. A Suzuki Samurai with better marketing.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    paging Mandy Lee

    they need Bronco Bars and Barbecue Pits

    would work better than the Cadillac bar in nyc

  • avatar
    jmrtsus

    So the true headline is “Some Ford dealers MAY build separate buildings to sell their Bronco’s.” Not a thing in this article other than the headline says FORD is building them.

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