Is This Chevrolet’s Ford Bronco Rival?
The Ford Bronco is too hot, selling so well that Chevrolet can’t just ignore it. There is money to make and GM is all in on that. So we know a Bronco beater is coming because GM Design just confirmed it with an Instagram post. The only questions remain when will it come out and where can we get it?
Before digging into the Dylan Schmidt sketch, let’s look at some Bronco numbers. Ford’s Bronco is selling an average of 100,000 SUVs a year in the U.S. It is outselling the Toyota 4Runner and is getting closer to beating Jeep’s Wrangler. However, the Wrangler sells consistently over 200,000 units each year, so there is still a big gap to fill.
Is Chevrolet paying attention to the success of the Ford Bronco?
Orders for the 2023 Bronco were to begin in October 2022. But then they were halted to take care of the backlog of 2022 orders. Now 2023 Bronco orders won’t begin until March 27, 2023. This gives Ford time to fulfill orders it still has on the books.
So that’s the story of the Bronco. With all of the drama, and seeing what owners like and dislike about it, gives GM valuable information for its upcoming Bronco fighter. Ars Technica was recently given a tour of GM Design’s array of potential Bronco beaters. Scale models shown had different designs and features.
How deep is Chevrolet’s Bronco-like efforts?
“What we’re trying to do at this point is understand exactly what experiences do we want to create to get people into vehicles like this,” said Mike Pevovar, director of Chevrolet’s affordable EV and crossover design. At the same time, a satellite hookup from the California design studio in North Hollywood gave a preview of still more SUV-like designs.
Notable was a glimpse of a sustainable off-road pickup, along the lines of a small Hummer. “It’s going to be a highly configurable and customizable vehicle for both urban and off-road use, and it focuses on sustainability in a big way,” said Advanced Design’s Brian Smith. When GM says “sustainable,” that means electric.
It looks like the focus has shifted to smaller not larger
Overall, GM is concentrating on smaller, not larger, as with the GMC Hummer and its offshoots. And the Schmidt sketch shows a more daring, playful side of off-roading. The Bronco, Bronco Sport, and Maverick pickups have pointed GM in that direction. GM mentioned it is shooting for “under $30,000” pickups and SUVs for its future.
That doesn’t mean it will abandon full-size pickups and SUVs. Instead, it means the company is opening up new segments to conquer. As most American automakers killed all of their coupes and sedans, they cut off certain segment profit streams. It is taking time to refill with new truck and SUV models.
So adding a smaller pickup truck, and a Blazer or two, helps the company build up to the variety of vehicles it once built. With the industry increasing prices across the board, many buyers are more interested in smaller, less expensive vehicles they can afford. GM sees the writing on the wall.