But should they be?
The reborn Ford Bronco isn't due to debut until next spring, but there's already plenty of hype around the new SUV. We know it'll sport the same body-on-frame construction underpinning the Ranger mid-size pickup truck and compete directly against the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and possibly even the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. The aging but still competitive Toyota 4Runner also shouldn't be ruled out. Should Jeep, Chevrolet, and Toyota be concerned about their new competitor? If so, they don't appear to be. Muscle Cars and Trucks recently asked Jeep and Chevy officials about the new Bronco's arrival and, as it turns out, they don't seem to care much.
"We're always in tune with the industry with what's going on with other OEMs and what suppliers and customers are doing, but our focus is Wrangler and optimizing that… we're not in a place where we're reacting to others," said Kim Mathers, head of Mopar performance and accessories. "If we're doing our job right, it doesn't matter what the others do," she added.
Mopar accessories continue to be wildly popular with Jeep customers, specifically for the Wrangler and Gladiator. In fact, Gladiator buyers are spending an average of $1,000 on added accessories. Because the Wrangler and its Gladiator truck variant already dominate such a significant portion of the off-road market, Jeep doesn't feel threatened by fresh competition. But what about Chevy? It doesn't offer an SUV variant of the Colorado or the Colorado ZR2, so where does it stand?
"I guess when [the Bronco] gets here, we'll evaluate what that means," said Silverado marketing manager Hugh Milne. There were earlier rumors GM was working on a potential Bronco rival, possibly a reborn GMC Jimmy, but nothing has been confirmed. Even if such a plan does exist, don't expect anything to arrive before 2022.
As for Toyota, there does not appear to any immediate response to the new Bronco, but an earlier report claims the automaker is developing a new global truck platform that could not only underpin the next 4Runner, but the Tacoma and Tundra as well. We wouldn't rule out a future Land Cruiser either.
Ford just offered an early preview, though modified, of the 2021 Bronco with the Bronco R prototype racer. It's slated to enter this year's Baja 1000 desert off-road race.