Ford’s recent announcement of the 2021 Bronco was seen by many as a shot at Jeep. Wranglers have been the same year after year, and the market may be open to a little competition. Ford is trying to make its move by providing a driving experience that the Jeep Wrangler simply can’t measure up to. And fans on both sides are already up in arms. It remains to be seen if the Jeep Wrangler will maintain its hold on the market as the Ford Bronco goes on sale later this year, but it looks like we’re in for a long battle.
The Jeep Wrangler vs. the Ford Bronco
The biggest advantage the Wrangler has in the battle with Ford is that Jeep has continued to produce quality vehicles. The Bronco is returning after a 25-year hiatus. Meanwhile, Jeep has continued to pump out thousands of Wranglers a year, with some model years still remaining excellent used buys. There won’t be very many used Broncos on the market this year. So, can the Bronco defeat the Wrangler in the brand-new market?
Many Wrangler buyers are die-hard Jeep fans. They replace their Wrangler every few years with a new one and simply go about their lives. Brand loyalty is not something that Jeep lacks. However, a lot of Wrangler buyers are still first-time Jeep customers, and that’s a slice of the market that Ford thinks it can cash in on. Families are always looking for the next great model, and the Bronco has plenty of options to suit any lifestyle. That doesn’t make it cheap, but it does widen the appeal.
However, after Ford stole the attention in the market with the Bronco announcement, Jeep immediately tried to take it back. Even if the 2021 Wrangler isn’t a new design or a massive leap forward, Jeep is doing everything it can to make it a popular option that rivals the new Bronco. Ford has had years to prepare this comeback, and Jeep might improve things over the next few years.
Other potential Ford Bronco buyers
It isn’t only first-time buyers that Ford thinks it has a shot at with the Bronco. The vehicle was popular the first time around and it’s only been 25 years (well, maybe 25 years and a few months). Plenty of buyers in their 50s and 60s now have fond memories of Broncos in their youth and might be willing to check out the new Ford offering.
From all the previews, it looks like Ford has done a good job of putting a vehicle on the road that they can stand behind, although the delays mean we’ll need to wait a bit longer for the first official reviews. According to a report on Automotive News, Ford is targeting Jeep buyers who previously viewed the Wrangler as their only option.
Drawing battle lines for the future
The 2021 Ford Bronco may succeed immediately, fail, or something in between. But no matter what happens in the market, it’s clear that this year’s Bronco will be defined by its competition with the Jeep Wrangler. The die-hard Jeep Wrangler fans are already mad online about Facebook and other platforms recommending them Bronco advertisements. The vehicles are certainly similar, but brand loyalty makes buying both seem unpalatable.
If the 2021 Ford Bronco does succeed, it’s not necessarily at the Jeep Wrangler’s expense. There’s plenty of room in the market for competing vehicles. After all, dozens of sedans compete for the same buyers and most of them do just fine. It’s entirely possible that the Bronco and Wrangler both succeed, although it’s hard to imagine that the Wrangler doesn’t lose some buyers to the reintroduced Bronco. Ford has spent a long time in the workshop for this one, and it’s out to win the war.