By Mike Colias
Steve Olliges has raced older Ford Broncos through the desert and has five vintage ones in his garage. But the Ford dealer has never sold one from his showroom in Las Vegas. Instead, he’s watched rival Jeep dealers in town peddle thousands of Jeep Wranglers to off-roading enthusiasts over the years.
“Ford dealers have been saying forever: We need a Wrangler fighter,” Olliges said.
Finally, they’re getting one. After nearly a decade of plotting its return, Ford /zigman2/quotes/208911460/composite F -1.01% on Monday evening unveiled a new retro-looking Bronco reminiscent of the rugged, boxy original from the 1960s — the U.S. auto maker’s latest attempt to carve into a share of Jeep’s dominant position in the off-road adventure category.
The new SUV will have two sizes: a smaller Bronco Sport to be released later this year, and a bigger one, the main Bronco, arriving next spring and priced at around $30,000.
Ford’s Bronco is coming off the sidelines at a tricky time. U.S. vehicle sales are expected to contract around 25% this year largely due to the coronavirus disruption, analysts project, and car companies are crowding showrooms with new SUV models, putting pressures on profits.
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