In 1996, Ford discontinued the Bronco after 30 years in production. It was a sad day for offroad enthusiasts. But nearly 20 years later, in 2015, it’s time to revive the Bronco and sell it alongside new cars in Sanford, FL. Here’s why:
The Ford Bronco was the original Jeep competitor. Introduced in 1966 to take on the Jeep CJ-5, it was a small four-wheel drive SUV perfect for offroad usage.
It was later built on a truck platform, but was given a shorter wheelbase. This made it a better offroad vehicle, but also gave it more power when compared to your typical Jeep.
When it was discontinued, Ford was looking to focus on larger SUVs to compete with GM’s successful line of Chevrolet and GMC vehicles. Joining its mid-size Explorer SUV, which replaced the Ford Bronco II, was the Expedition.
The automotive industry has changed a lot since 1996. Where big SUVs once ruled the market, high gas prices and the 2008 recession caused small, economical cars to take the spotlight.
In the time since, compact SUVs dubbed crossovers, have dominated the market.
With the economy improving and gas prices dropping, however, people have been buying larger, more capable vehicles. Jeep, for instance, had a great year in 2014, selling over 175,000 Wranglers. That was a great year for what was once known as a niche product.
Two of the Wrangler’s biggest competitors, the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Nissan Xterra, are nearly out of the market. The FJ Cruiser was discontinued in 2014, so few of those remain on dealer lots. And the Xterra was just recently discontinued as of the 2015 model year.
Moving into the 2016 model year, the Wrangler will have little to no competition at the under-$30,000 level for offroad vehicles. This is despite the fact that clearly people are interested in that type of vehicle.
With only the Jeep Wrangler to compete with, now is the perfect time for Ford to produce a new Bronco for a new generation.
The brand already has a cult following, and could easily be marketed to truck buyers if offered with an optional V8 engine. Ford could also put an EcoBoost version in order to compete with Jeep’s upcoming EcoDiesel Wrangler.
If they can give buyers a reliable truck-based offroad-ready SUV, along with powerful and economical options, a new Bronco could easily contend with the Wrangler!