It’s official. The Ford Bronco is coming back. It would have been nice if the announcement wasn’t as slow as the OJ Simpson chase. Slow. Tons of fans watching. The hope. And maybe disappointment?
First, the good news. Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, Bill Johnson, the chairman of UAW local 900, confirmed the iconic SUV is making its return. And it will be built in Michigan. Here’s the quote:
“We hate to see the products go to Mexico, but with the Ranger and the Bronco coming to Michigan Assembly that absolutely secures the future for our people a lot more than the Focus does.”
We can assume that’s not the marketing announcement Ford PR was hoping for, but who cares? The Ford Bronco is coming back.
Unfortunately, what forums design isn’t what Ford builds. There is an actual Ford Bronco concept from over a decade ago. It aged well, but I prefer the work from the Bronco6G folks. It’s just too damn slick to ignore.
There is a third possibility and one that I hope Ford won’t do. The Ford Everest. Say what? Outside of the US, drivers will recognize the SUV. It has that Explorer-ish style and is actually a decent off-road vehicle. Ground clearance checks in at nine inches. Approach angle hits 29 degrees along with a 25-degree departure angle. See a creek? It has a wading depth of 2.5 feet.
It’s something Ford can sell by the truckload. Yes, the Bronco has its fervent supporters. Count me as one that wants something similar to the 6G concepts. But, Ford is a public company. Can it get by with trying to muscle into the Jeep Wrangler’s territory? Remember, around 15,000 Wranglers drive off the lot per month. If Ford goes the 6G route, expectations will be that.
It will be expected to have all the trappings of a Wrangler copycat. And we’ve seen automakers try and fail to capture the market. Toyota and Nissan being prime examples.
Ford can update the styling and rebadge the Everest with relative ease. A completely new vehicle from the ground up? Wall Street gets its say way before fans of the Bronco do. And they go by what works today, not what sells tomorrow with automakers.
The Ford Everest rebadged as a Bronco is pure speculation, but it’s higher up the probability scale than the Bronco6G design renders. From a business perspective, it makes sense. From a Bronco fan standpoint? Say hi to the pitchforks, Ford.
Regardless, we finally have confirmation a Ford Bronco will be at your local dealership in the near future. That’s a win for fans of the old SUV. Now Ford, please let the artists at Bronco6G have a say. You can’t deny it would make for one hell of a statement.