Off-road enthusiasts at your dealership might be interested in discussing the all-new Ford Bronco’s upcoming launch as they peruse your showroom in seek of their next powersports machine. While not exactly powersports-related, here’s some good-to-know info for your sales staff to keep in their back pocket to build conversation.
The press release from Ford follows, including interesting news of Off-Roadeo outdoor adventure playgrounds, which sounds like a Texplex on steroids. — Dave
BRONCO RETURNS: FORD’S ALL-NEW OUTDOOR BRAND FEATURES ‘BUILT WILD’ 4X4 ADVENTURE VEHICLES, COMMUNITY, OFF-ROAD SCHOOLS
• Ford is introducing a new outdoor brand with an all-4x4 family featuring Bronco two-door, first-ever Bronco four-door and smaller Bronco Sport model – all engineered with Built Wild Extreme Durability Testing, Capability and Innovative Design principles for segment-leading levels of 4x4 capability, plus long-term off-road performance and dependability
• The Bronco team is creating its new Off-Roadeo outdoor adventure playgrounds to four U.S. locations starting next year; owners and enthusiasts can test the new Bronco lineup in challenging terrain and experience authenticity in the wild
• Bronco lifestyle is unleashed through Bronco Nation, an independent online community that enables owners and enthusiasts to share and discover off-roading adventures including trails, vintage Bronco vehicle information and event calendars; new apparel available, too
• Ford will unveil the all-new Bronco two- and four-door models, plus Bronco Sport at 8:00 p.m. EDT on July 13 when customers can reserve a new Bronco with a $100 refundable deposit
DEARBORN, Mich., July 6, 2020 – Bronco is back! Ford is introducing an all-new Bronco brand featuring a new family of Built Wild SUVs, U.S. off-road driving schools and a unique community for owner and enthusiast engagement.
The all-new Bronco brand includes a Bronco two-door, first-ever Bronco four-door model and all-new rugged, small SUV, the Bronco Sport — and will be the only domestic brand of SUVs with standard 4x4. Ford is revealing the all-new models July 13 at 8:00 p.m. EDT across Disney network channels National Geographic, ESPN and ABC — as the Bronco reservation system opens.
Every Bsronco model is engineered to deliver thrilling and confident off-road experiences that build on the original 1966 Bronco DNA and racing heritage, with ingenious new updatable technologies and adventure-ready attributes created with today’s outdoor enthusiasts in mind.
“Bronco gave rise to the fun and versatile off-road SUV in 1966, becoming the first enjoyable sport utility vehicle for those who wanted to live, work and play outdoors,” said Jim Farley, Ford chief operating officer. “Like the original, the all-new Bronco family is engineered to take you to epic places, with capability to deliver confidence on any type of terrain.”
Bronco’s new Built Wild brand positioning comes to life in this short film that offers glimpses of the all-new 2021 Bronco two-door, four-door and Bronco Sport models in the wild.
For the Bronco brand and its all-new Bronco two-door, four door and Sport models to be superior off-road vehicles, all three vehicles deliver on the brand’s three Built Wild principles:
- Built Wild Extreme Durability Testing – These elevated Bronco torture tests ensure toughness across thousands of lab, proving ground and real-world extreme challenges in the toughest and harshest climates
- Built Wild Capability – Confidence to go over any-type of terrain (G.O.A.T.), provided by standard 4x4 and an exclusive terrain management system, plus unique Bronco-variant architectures with class-leading levels of capability and suspension technology
- Built Wild Innovative Design – Broncos are the future of off-roading and deliver off-road ingenuity, new design innovations coupled with heritage-inspired DNA, plus new-levels of personalization that can flatter the novice and challenge the expert adventure seeker
Ford’s off-road SUV expertise traces back to World War II, when the automaker was part of a government competition to build rugged carry-all utilities for GIs in the battlefield. Ford’s entry was called the GP, for General Purpose. More than 270,000 Ford GPs were built for Allied forces. GIs returning home bought Army surplus GPs for work and play, but they were too small and uncomfortable for civilian life, according to Ford research from the early 1960s, so Ford developed a more refined, spacious, yet durable off-road vehicle to meet this need — Bronco.
The original Bronco was nicknamed G.O.A.T. by Donald Frey, the Ford product manager who championed both Mustang and Bronco nameplates and challenged engineering teams to deliver “go anywhere roadability.” As an agile, sports-oriented off-road 4x4, Ford dubbed the original 1966 Bronco “a completely new line of sports-utility vehicles” at its reveal Aug. 11, 1965 – the first reference to “SUVs” from an American manufacturer.
Early Broncos had a rugged body-on-frame design with short front and rear overhangs, high ground clearance and a short wheelbase, for maximum off-road capability. Bronco’s toughness and agility at high-speed enabled off-road racers like Rod Hall and Larry Minor to capture an overall win at the grueling 1969 Baja 1000 – a victory that no other production 4x4 has replicated in 50 years.
“Rugged vehicles are in our heritage and we see strong growth opportunities with this ever-more popular segment,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford president, Americas and International Markets Group. “The Bronco brand meets that need by creating a family of truly capable off-roaders to take our customers further into the wild. We’ve leveraged extensive off-road experience from vehicles like our F-150 Raptor to ensure that every Bronco delivers the ‘Built Wild’ toughness and durability our customers expect.”
Bronco holds a special place in popular culture and has been featured in more than 1,200 films and 200 songs. Since Ford ended production in 1996, Bronco SUVs have continued to grow in popularity with collectors and enthusiasts. With the January 2017 announcement of the return of Ford Bronco, valuations have skyrocketed, according to Barrett-Jackson, with the average first-generation Bronco sale price nearly doubling from $39,763 to $74,820 in just more than three years. Hagerty valuation guide ranks 1966-77 Broncos as among the highest vehicle price increases of all collectible SUVs over the past three years – a 75.8 percent gain.
“Bronco delivers on the common thread desired by enthusiasts – authenticity,” said Mark Grueber, Ford U.S. consumer marketing manager. “Building Bronco as Ford’s distinct outdoor brand includes a unique network of experiences, community and engagement that extends far beyond ownership of Bronco and Bronco Sport models.”
Chief among those authentic experiences are Bronco Off-Roadeos – four off-roading and outdoor adventure playgrounds built for all skill levels, with experiences designed to build confidence and inspire Bronco owners to get out in the wild for years to come. They start opening next year.
Also connecting current and future Bronco owners as well as off-road fans and outdoor enthusiasts, Bronco Nation (www.thebronconation.com) – an independent online community that elevates the excitement of owning an all-new Bronco or Bronco Sport. Bronco Nation enables owners and fans to be part of a passionate and knowledgeable off-road, adventure-driven community.
Ford is ramping up all-new Bronco merchandise, too. From Bronco gear to remote control cars, Ford-licensed Bronco merchandise is available at Amazon.com/fordbronco. Enthusiasts can shop for gifts, novelties, collectibles and apparel. A portion of Bronco merchandise proceeds will be donated to the Bronco brand’s stewardship efforts.
Beyond that, the Bronco brand continues building its off-road racing legacy as Official Vehicle of King of the Hammers, ULTRA4 Series. Bronco also is the official SUV of SCORE-International — one of many events key for proving out the vehicle’s capability and connecting with Bronco brand influencers.