Ford Motor takes aim at Jeep with new Bronco SUV models

Nearly 55 years after the debut of the original Ford Bronco — and 24 years after the demise of the last one — Ford Motor Co. is dusting off one of its treasured nameplates this spring in hopes of reviving a decades-old rivalry with Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s popular Jeep brand.
Leading the charge is a trim new mid-size Bronco sport utility vehicle, based on the Ranger pick-up. Ford insiders have hinted there are more Bronco models to follow, including a smaller, car-based Bronco Sport later this year, with rumours of a Bronco pick-up and a high-performance Bronco Raptor said to be under consideration.
The automaker is slated to reveal details of the 2021 Bronco on March 17.
Since announcing the return of the Bronco three years ago, Ford executives have made it clear the latest edition is targeted at the long-lived Jeep Wrangler. The rivalry dates back to mid-1965, when the original Bronco was launched as a compact two-door SUV, aimed squarely at the Jeep CJ, the predecessor of the Wrangler.
But Ford does not intend to stop there. It sees the potential to build a franchise around the Bronco name, a feat accomplished by Jeep over a period of eight decades, though under at least six owners.
Beau Boeckmann, president of Galpin Ford in the Los Angeles area and one of the largest US Ford dealers, said the return of the Bronco is the most exciting vehicle launch he has seen from Ford in a long time.
“I’ve had more people ask about this car than anything else we’ve launched,” he said. “I don’t see why Bronco’s potential wouldn’t be the same as Jeep’s.”
The Jeep family now includes six nameplates in North America, from the tiny Renegade to the new Gladiator pick-up, with several additional models sold overseas and more coming.