Is This Chevrolet’s Ford Bronco Rival?
The Ford Bronco is selling so well that Chevrolet can’t ignore it. There’s money to make, and Chevy’s parent, General Motors, is all in on that. So we know a Bronco beater is in the works because GM Design just confirmed it with an Instagram post. Only two questions remain: When will it come out? And where can we get it?
Before digging into the artist’s rendering, let’s look at some Bronco numbers. The Ford SUV sells a yearly average of 100,000 units in the United States. It’s outselling the Toyota 4Runner and is inching closer to beating the Jeep Wrangler. However, the Wrangler sells consistently over 200,000 units each year, so there’s still a big gap to fill.
Is Chevrolet paying attention to the success of the Ford Bronco?
Orders for the 2023 Ford Bronco were to begin in October 2022. But then Ford halted them to take care of the backlog of 2022 orders. Now 2023 Bronco orders won’t start until March 27. That gives the Blue Oval time to fulfill orders it still has on the books.
So that’s the Bronco’s story. Seeing all the drama and what owners like and dislike about the Ford SUV gives GM valuable information for its upcoming Bronco fighter. Ars Technica recently toured GM Design’s array of potential Bronco beaters. Scale models had different designs and features.
How deep are Chevrolet’s Bronco-like efforts?
“What we’re trying to do at this point is understand exactly what experiences we want to create to get people into vehicles like this,” Mike Pevovar, director of affordable EV and crossover design at Chevrolet, told Ars Technica.
At the same time, a satellite hookup from the California design studio in North Hollywood gave a preview of other 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,” Brian Smith, design director at GM California Advanced Design, said.
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 GM creative designer Dylan Schmidt’s sketch in the GM Design Instagram post shows a more daring, playful side of off-roading. The Bronco, Bronco Sport, and Maverick have pointed General Motors in that direction. GM mentioned it’s shooting for “under $30,000” pickups and SUVs.
That doesn’t mean the auto giant will abandon full-size pickups and SUVs. Instead, it means the company is opening new segments to conquer. When most U.S. automakers killed their coupes and sedans, they cut off segment profit streams. Filling those vacancies with new truck and SUV models is taking time.
So adding a smaller pickup truck — and a Blazer or two — helps GM build up to various vehicles it once produced. While the industry increases prices across the board, many buyers are more interested in smaller, less expensive cars they can afford. GM sees the writing on the wall.