It is good to have executives in a company that are passionate about their brand and its products. Jim Farley is one of those. He became Chief Operating Officer of Ford in March, and he is excited about the direction Ford is heading. So, much so, that he did not hold back with some smacktalk towards Jeep when discussing the soon to be released Ford Bronco.
The Ford Bronco
The Ford Bronco is a nameplate that disappeared decades ago. But, for those that have not heard, it is coming back. It will be doing so in a big way. Taking a lesson from Jeep’s playbook, Ford has created many upgrade parts and accessories to become available when the new Bronco reaches the market. It has also prepped the aftermarket off-road industries with info about the truck. Additionally, the automaker launched Bronco Nation, a Ford certified online Bronco community for fans of any generation of the SUV. The company has also teased fans with videos of the camouflage two and four-door versions playing in mud trails.
All of that effort, however, means nothing if the new Bronco fails to live up to expectations. So, what are the expectations? The previous Bronco was a full-size, two-door, off-road capable SUV. It was at home on pavement, overlanding, climbing dunes, and rock crawling. It was also easily modifiable.
The Bronco’s target
Instead of aiming for reclaiming the past, Ford has decided the Bronco will go after the Jeep Wrangler. That is because the Jeep Wrangler is the only current model in the space that the older Bronco vacated. Of, course there will be nods to the Bronco heritage out of respect. But, the Jeep Wrangler does everything expected from the former Bronco. Even so, Ford wants to reclaim some of that space.
Getting back to Ford’s Jim Farley. He made it very clear who the benchmark is for the new Bronco. In referencing the Jeep Wrangler, he painted a target on the Wrangler’s back by saying the Bronco, “is a much superior product.”
Those are big words coming from Mr. Farley. Ford is putting out a first-year product against the off-road market’s long-standing, legendary, military rooted, off-road icon known as the Wrangler. That’s not to say that Mr. Farley’s words are more aspirational than realistic.
Not since the Ford GT
The return of the Bronco is a dream come true after years of development and testing. The last time Ford put out equivalent effort was with the return of the Ford GT. When that was getting ready to launch, Ford smacktalked then too and put Ferrari on notice. Then, more importantly, Ford delivered. So, Ford is not afraid to call a manufacturer out for its dream projects.
Mr. Farley’s passion for Ford, and the Bronco specifically, is notching up the intensity for the SUV’s return. Although the global COVID-19 pandemic made for some delays in its launch, the fans are still waiting anxiously. It also seems that Mr. Farley is just as anxious to deliver on all the expectations. Smacktalk may be unnecessary, but it certainly shows his confidence in the new off-roader. The Bronco will be launched in July.