Apparently, Ford's 2024 Bronco Pickup Is Dead
Lately, Bronco fans have been struck by a series of unfortunate events, ranging from failing hardtops and problematic deliveries to still another delay in Bronco production which should last till October.
It seems that the 2021 Bronco, despite enormous interest from customers and rave reviews from various magazines, just can't catch a break. Unfortunately, there's still a bit more bad news of a different kind coming from Ford, even though official channels aren't delivering the information.
Apparently, the eagerly anticipated Ford Bronco Pickup won't be happening, as Ford has canceled the project. The Bronco Pickup was expected to be released in 2024, and there was already substantial interest in this version of the model from fans.
Immediately after the standard 2021 Bronco's release, eagle-eyed fans caught a glimpse of a Bronco Pickup drawing in one of the Bronco's promotional videos. Ford never confirmed or denied that it was working on such a model, but it's evident that its design team wouldn't likely miss the chance to explore such a possibility.
After all, the release of a Bronco Pickup would mirror the Bronco's original history and be very much in keeping with the company's current policy of abandoning passenger cars and sedans in favor of SUVs and trucks.
A Bronco pickup variation, called the Half Cab, was one of three available versions of the original Bronco when it first appeared as a 1966 model. The Half Cab proved to be a solid seller, and it was often used as a commercial vehicle or tow truck. Produced under factory code U14, it was discontinued in 1972 after more than 17,000 units had been delivered to customers.
All subsequent Bronco generations featured removable hardtops, and owners sometimes turned their Broncos into short bed pickups on their own. Today, classic U14 Broncos are sought after by collectors and can fetch high prices.
Fast forward 55 years, and there has been talk of a new Bronco pickup that would bear a striking resemblance to the original, with the market even more excited about its return. Even though Ford never officially acknowledged that it was considering making a Bronco truck, it was obvious that its development had begun. This wasn't just because we saw a glimpse of one in a promo video, but because Ford actually bought a Jeep Gladiator and brought it to its factory to benchmark.
However, now the project is dead. The news originated from industry insiders and suppliers, who had been informed that preparations for this variation of the Bronco will cease. Of course, since the Bronco Pickup was never officially confirmed, it cannot be formally canceled by Ford, so don't expect any news directly from the company.
So what's the reason for the cancelation of this cool-looking -- and likely potentially popular -- variation of the model? Well, it's not the development costs, since a potential Bronco truck would use most of the components and chassis from the existing model. It's not the project's complexity, since making a truck out of a body-on-frame SUV is relatively straightforward. It's not worry over its potential customer base, since everybody knows that a Bronco Pickup would be a sales hit and the only current true Gladiator competitor.
Herein lies the problem. Ford fears that the success of a Bronco truck would cannibalize sales from Ford's other truck lines -- mainly from the Ranger but also from the F-150 and the newly introduced Maverick.
In fact, the Maverick, which uses a platform similar to the Bronco Sport, had just recently passed 100,000 reservations. Even though we would love to see the Bronco Pickup, we can understand Ford's decision, since a fourth truck in its model lineup would definitely be a bit too much, and its success would be at the expense of Ford's other truck offerings.
So, it looks like the revival of Bronco U14 was too good to be true and that there is simply no room for such a model in the modern car industry. We're confident that independent tuning companies will use this opportunity to offer professionally customized Broncos for those who really want a Bronco pickup and are ready to pay for it. That will mean that the Bronco Pickup will live on in some form, just not in a form produced or approved by Ford.