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Ford declares war with all-new Bronco as Jeep Wrangler demand spikes

Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

DETROIT -- Josh Gracin texted Thad Szott in an attempt to get on a buyer list for the 2021 Ford Bronco.

But there is no list yet, not even for country music singers in Nashville.

"People are so excited to get their hands on the Bronco," said Szott, co-owner of Szott Auto Group in White Lake Township, Mich. "Every time I post something on my social media to let them know the timeline, I get about 10 people begging me to get them on the list. But they have to go to the Ford website and pick a dealer. But people are, like, 'Please help me.' "

It's not just hype, he said, "it's so real."

These are buyers who see themselves as outdoorsy and adventurous, or people whose parents had a classic Bronco, which was built from 1966 to 1996 and now gets top dollar among collectors.

"I've always wanted one as a kid growing up in Westland, Mich.," Gracin wrote in an email to the Free Press during a break at the recording studio this week. "The Bronco is iconic in so many ways -- from off road, to just your afternoon drive with friends, with the roof off and plenty of summer sun. Before I could drive, Bronco production was discontinued and the stars have never aligned for me to own one. I'll be jumping online as soon as they are available to reserve."


The big reveal for the 2-door and 4-door Broncos and smaller Bronco Sport is next Monday in partnership with Disney.

The new model has been in the works for years, with Ford executives promising Wall Street analysts it will be a big deal. The Dearborn, Mich., automaker has made it clear that the company plans to go after the market dominated by the Jeep Wrangler.

"These are the free spirits, the wind-in-the-hair type folks," Szott said. "This is an emotional vehicle, similar to Jeep Wrangler. Bronco demand is going to exceed supply, no doubt. It's new. It's exciting. It's sexy. When you start removing the tops from vehicles, it creates all this emotion. Friends out of state want me to get them on a list but there is no list."

Fight is real


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