We never got to meet you.
The revival of the Ford Bronco means more than just a new SUV. It's also the beginning of a new off-road sub-brand that'll consist of the smaller but still highly capable Bronco Sport and a national network of dedicated Bronco stores and Ford-sponsored outdoor adventure activities for owners. But one thing is no longer happening.
Automotive News claims it's received confirmation from two inside sources that the Bronco-based truck is officially dead. Ford originally aimed to launch the vehicle sometime in 2024 but has since informed suppliers things have been called off. A Ford spokesperson declined to comment on the report, which makes sense because the Blue Oval never confirmed Bronco truck plans to begin with.
Turning the Bronco into a truck with a bed wouldn't have been without historical precedent. The first-generation Bronco, revealed in 1966, came in multiple body styles, among them a truck with a short bed. In theory, reviving such a vehicle does make sense, but that was before the pandemic struck. Since then, automakers have been struggling with production issues stemming from a lack of semiconductor chips. This shortage is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
Ford and its fellow carmakers are focusing production efforts on core and profitable vehicles, mainly trucks and SUVs. The Bronco SUV's launch also hasn't been smooth sailing. Ford seems to have concluded it needs to focus its energies on ironing out Bronco manufacturing issues, fulfillig a large number of orders, and doubling down on trucks.
Both the all-new Maverick and F-150 Lightning are seeing substantially more demand than expected and the Bronco Sport continues to be a smash hit. The redesigned midsize Ranger is also set to debut sometime next year. Factor all of that together, and a semi-niche vehicle like a Bronco truck could become more of a distraction rather than a benefit. Freeing up development funds can now be invested elsewhere.
Ford also wants to increase its battery-electric vehicle offerings, and so creating another combustion-engine truck no longer presents a viable business case. This is all speculation on our part since Ford had nothing to say on the matter but it's not hard to see why the Bronco truck is a non-starter.