That's not a bad thing.
Jeep owned the off-road SUV market in America for years following the discontinuation of the fifth-generation Ford Bronco in 1996. Even prior to that the Jeep brand was synonymous with 4WD and off-road adventures and it's continued to expand that image and its lineup ever since. But the Ford Bronco is back and it's better than ever. It's evidently clear Ford studied the Jeep Wrangler inside and out, found its faults, and even discovered features it lacked. Does this worry Jeep? Yes, but that's a good thing.
Speaking to The Drive, head of Jeep brand for North America Jim Morrison admitted that he's "always worried about competition."
"I wake up worried about competition. We'll continue to make Jeeps better because of competition and I think the overall segment of off-roaders will continue to grow." That's a healthy attitude to have. Despite the Bronco's arrival, Wrangler sales remain extremely strong. The Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid is sold out for the rest of the model year and the bonkers Wrangler 392 isn't remaining on dealership lots for long.
But unlike the Bronco, there have been no significant Jeep delivery delays, even with the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage situation. Another critical reason why Morrison and his superiors at Stellantis are humbly confident the Wrangler and other Jeep SUVs can handle the Bronco and Bronco Sport storm: deeply loyal customers.
Ford is only now getting back into the off-road adventure culture niche and it has to rebuild a fanbase. Jeep didn't go anywhere and a devout culture continued to expand and evolve during Ford's years-long absence. But there's nothing wrong with fresh competition to help keep Jeep on its toes - especially as the electrification era begins.
Like Ford, Jeep is fully aware and excited about the new opportunities battery-only powertrains bring, such as instant torque and more capable off-roading systems. The Bronco and Wrangler, it can be said, need one another in order to make them both better.