New reports indicate Ford will not build a Bronco pickup after all.
There’s news today that’s sure to dash some hopes, if you were looking for a head-on Gladiator rival.
To be clear, Ford never out-and-out confirmed its intent to build an actual truck out of its new, hotly-anticipated Bronco SUV. Rumors swirled around the industry and through enthusiast forums, though. Now, Automotive News reports Ford internally scrapped the Bronco pickup project, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
According to those sources, Ford told suppliers it had canceled its plans to build the truck — after originally setting a goal to build it by 2024. As you’d expect, the Blue Oval would have manufactured a Bronco pickup alongside the SUV, and indeed the similar Ranger pickup at its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, just outside Detroit. Ford, for its part, will not comment on future product (or canceled projects), but did reaffirm solid demand for both the standard Bronco and its pickup range, including the Maverick, Ranger and F-Series.
What if Ford had built it?
Ford has a direct Wrangler rival in their new body-on-frame SUV. However, while a Bronco pickup would have jumped into battle against the Gladiator, it could have also expanded its truck lineup a bit thin, depending on your perspective. With the new Maverick, the Ranger, the F-150 and the Super Duty, Ford has four distinct segments in which it can wage battle — namely against General Motors, Stellantis, Toyota and Nissan. In building a Bronco-based truck, AutoNews posits the automaker could pull sales away from the midsize Ranger.
We see that effect to some extent with the Bronco Sport. Ford introduced a small crossover under the same umbrella as its hero SUV, and it in turn seems to have pulled a fair number of sales away from the long-running Escape (however inadvertently on Ford’s part).
Over the next few years, Ford will continue to invest heavily in electric vehicles, as well. By offering new and more efficient powertrains, rather than splitting a segment with several models, the company could focus more heavily on achieving its goal to achieve 40% global EV sales share.
That doesn’t mean we won’t see more Bronco models, however. In just the past few months, we’ve seen several signs of a higher-performance, Raptor-esque variant. Whether it’s actually called the Raptor or — as many more believe — the Warthog, we should see its debut sometime in the next few months. Ford could also be working on a hybrid or plug-in hybrid version, which may slot into the same time frame where a Bronco pickup would have been.
And if you are adamant about having a bona fide truck (that’s why you’re here, right?), there is a new Ranger on the way as well.