Ford's revival of the iconic Bronco nameplate will come later than expected as coronavirus-related delays impact Ford Bronco Sport production

1966 ford bronco

  • Ford has plans to revive the famed Bronco nameplate in apparently two forms: a larger Bronco SUV based on the Ford Ranger and a smaller Bronco Sport based on the Ford Escape.
  • The Bronco Sport was scheduled for production first, but Automotive News reports that it's been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The production launch, originally meant to start on July 13, has been pushed to September 7.
  • Automotive News suggested that the Bronco Sport will be available this fall, while the larger Bronco will arrive in 2021.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

This year, Ford planned to bring an iconic name back to the car market after a 25-year hiatus with the introduction of the new Ford Bronco SUV. But that big revival will have to wait a little longer, as the coronavirus pandemic has pushed back production on the nameplate.

Fans anticipating the return of the famed Bronco, last produced in 1996, will have at least two models to choose from - the regular SUV that's based on the Ford Ranger pickup truck and the smaller Bronco Sport, based on the Ford Escape and scheduled to go to production before its bigger sibling.
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Originally targeted for a July 13 production launch date, the Bronco Sport has now been delayed until September 7, according to supplier information obtained by Automotive News. Ford declined to comment to the outlet, saying it doesn't "discuss future products."

Automotive News reports that the COVID-19 outbreak has stalled Ford's North American assembly and supplier parts factories, inevitably pushing back Bronco Sport production. Ford and the United Auto Workers union have also had tensions over production restarts amid the pandemic, and multiple UAW-Ford employees have died of the disease.

The Bronco Sport, which uses the same front-wheel-drive platform found in the Escape, appears similar in size to the Jeep Renegade. (You can see leaked photos here.) Ford apparently had plans to reveal it at this year's New York International Auto Show, which would have taken place in April.
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But the New York Auto Show was rescheduled for August, while its Jacob Javits Convention Center venue has been transformed into a makeshift disaster hospital for COVID-19 patients.

Automotive News expects the Bronco Sport to sell starting this fall before the larger Bronco SUV, which will supposedly debut in early 2021. A Ford spokesperson responded to Business Insider's request for comment, saying: "The all-new Bronco will have its world premiere this spring. Additionally, we will talk more about the all-new rugged Ford SUV at a later date."
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