Ford Motor is considering a revival of the Bronco sport utility vehicle and Ranger small pickup in the U.S., where truck demand is booming, said a person familiar with company’s plans.
The two models would be built at a Wayne, Mich., factory that now makes small cars, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing product plans. The move would help Ford preserve some U.S. union jobs amid contract talks. The company may assemble the Focus and C-Max in Mexico, a person familiar with the matter had said.
The return of the Ranger and Bronco, which drew unwelcome renown as O.J. Simpson’s getaway car two decades ago, gives Ford key models to compete with offerings by Toyota Motor and General Motors\. The Bronco would also bring back an iconic name that has struck a chord with young buyers despite being out of production for almost 20 years.
“It’s a good move,” John Wolkonowicz, a Boston-based independent analyst, said of reviving the SUV. “Gen Y has discovered the original Bronco. Ford has seen what the Mustang can do for them, and they are bringing back their iconic names.”
The Bronco debuted in 1966 as a competitor to the Jeep CJ, now known as the Wrangler. It has become popular with millennials in southern California, said Wolkonowicz, a former product planner for Ford.
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