Ford takes aim at Jeep with its Bronco off-road driving experiences and online community
When Ford launches a trio of new Bronco models—the two-door, four-door, and compact Bronco Sport—it will also be launching a full-on salvo at the heart of Jeep. While Ford has some fantastic 4×4 heritage to draw on, including sharing the development and production of the original WWII GPW that kicked off the Jeep brand, it has been out of the market for quite a while. Jeep owners can rely on their Trail Rated SUV, but also a loyal community of fans with lots of tribal knowledge to help them learn about all things off-roading. Ford has acknowledged those shortcomings and has solutions coming to make sure Bronco owners have a community of their own.
The upcoming Bronco models are all built, according to Ford, using the Bronco brand’s three “Built Wild” principles. First is “extreme durability testing” done in challenging real-world environments. The second is “capability” with standard 4×4 and a promise of class-leading suspension technology. Finally, there’s “innovative design” that will give drivers unique ways to tackle anything the trail can throw at them while offering customization to suit any owner.
To teach Bronco owners what their vehicles can do, and to encourage them to explore the outdoors, Ford will offer Bronco Off-Rodeos. Four of these 4×4 “adventure playgrounds” will open, starting in 2021, and will allow drivers of all skill levels to participate and hone their off-road driving competency.
Ford has also created Bronco Nation, an online community for Bronco and Bronco Sport owners and future owners to share their adventures and off-road know-how.
Jeep certainly has a head-start in the 4×4 adventure vehicle market, although it looks like Ford is tackling the problem from all angles. The videos it has released show Ford is serious about off-road performance over all kinds of terrain, and its multi-pronged approach to building a thriving Bronco enthusiast community shows it is committed to giving buyers a serious alternative to a Wrangler.
Ford will unveil the Bronco lineup on July 13, so check back for the latest in Ford 4×4 news.