Jeep Wrangler Sales Are Still Losing Ground to the Ford Bronco
The Jeep Wrangler sport utility vehicle is a favorite among drivers for various reasons, but the Ford Bronco continues to snatch shoppers away. How close is Ford to surpassing Jeep as the best off-roading SUV? Pretty close, but neither automaker seems very concerned. The Ford Bronco vs. Jeep Wrangler war continues in 2023.
Jeep Wrangler sales fell in 2022, while Ford Bronco numbers jumped
Plenty of people like the Jeep Wrangler SUV, which has kept it on the market for decades. It has always been a best seller, but times have changed since the Ford Bronco hit the market. According to The Detroit Free Press, Ford Bronco sales jumped 25% from 2021 to 2022, while Jeep sales saw a decline of the same amount. Jeep’s lead on Ford was only 913 in November and 470 in December.
In January of this year, Ford sold 10,170 Broncos, up from 8,101 at the same time in 2022. Jeep sold 10,173 Wranglers, down from 13,556. Said Deep, a Ford spokesman, told the Free Press that around 60% of Bronco customers come from outside of Ford, and many come from Jeep. Automakers track this information to gauge how a vehicle sells; anything over 50% is successful.
While the Bronco has been gaining on the Wrangler, nothing is set in stone yet. Jeep sold 181,409 Wranglers in 2022 compared to Ford’s 117,057 Bronco SUVs. For 2023, the Jeep starts at around $30,000 plus delivery fees, and the Bronco begins at about $32,000 with its delivery fees. Ford is still working through orders for the sport utility vehicle from when it first came out, but the Wrangler doesn’t have such an intense backlog.
The Jeep Wrangler has a dedicated factory, while the Ford Bronco shares a facility
Stellantis builds the Jeep Wrangler at a dedicated Toledo factory, allowing for more streamlined production numbers. Ford is still making the Bronco SUV and the Ranger truck in the same facility in Wayne, Michigan. Even though the Ford SUV had plenty of orders to fulfill, it didn’t have the space to ramp up production. This has been a contributing factor to sales.
Erich Merkle, a U.S. sales analyst for Ford, said that January and February are usually slow compared to the end of the year. “We’re a thin coat of paint away from surpassing Wrangler. We’re working hard to fill the orders,” Merkle told the paper.
Richard Deneau, a spokesman for Stellantis, told the Free Press that the Wrangler was the best-selling off-road SUV in 2022, and Jeep has no plans to let that title slip away. “Nearly a quarter of those sales (24%) were of the Wrangler 4xe, the best-selling plug-in hybrid in America,” Deneau said.
The good news is that consumers have more than one off-road SUV to choose from
Karl Brauer, an executive analyst for the iSeeCars, says both brands have a distinct advantage. Jeep has been around for a long time and has plenty of experience getting and keeping buyers. However, Ford has the advantage of offering a new vehicle with new tech bound to bring in buyers. “The best news is that after decades of only one really cool, really capable 4×4 SUV being offered by a domestic automaker, now there are two,” Brauer said.
Similarly, the Ford Bronco Sport and Jeep Compass are battling it out in the smaller SUV category. Competition is good for everyone, especially when it comes to Jeep Wrangler sales vs. Ford Bronco sales. If Ford can continue ramping up production, Jeep might have a serious problem as 2023 continues.