A Ford Bronco pick-up is said to be coming to showrooms by 2025, according to unconfirmed reports out of the US.
However, its chances of being sold in Australia remain unclear.
The Ford Bronco two-door and four-door heavy duty four-wheel-drive wagons have been developed solely for the US market at this point in time, even though both models share their DNA and core underpinnings with the Australian-developed Ford Ranger ute and Everest SUV.
While it may seem straightforward to build a right-hand-drive version given Ford has all the parts required, CarAdvice understands a right-hand-drive Bronco two-door or four-door wagon – or ute – is yet to be approved.
The biggest hurdles: the Bronco will be built in the US and has been designed to meet North American regulations, many of which don’t translate to Australian Design Rules.
While it may seem like paper shuffling to the uninitiated, this means there would need to be a significant investment in a right-hand-drive engineering program – whether the vehicle were made in the US or the tooling was shipped to one of three Ford Ranger plants around the world.
There is one ray of hope: the new boss of Ford Australia, Andrew Birkic, was most recently in charge of the marketing and product planning for the Ranger and Everest, so he has been closely involved with the program – and is likely well aware of the challenges facing a right-hand-drive Bronco, and perhaps how to overcome them.
While the Ford Bronco is reportedly already sold out for 12 months in the US, and there is no doubt the model would be popular in Australia in any guise, the biggest hurdle will be potential sales volume.
It would cost Ford tens of millions of dollars to develop a right-hand-drive Bronco, and then the company needs to calculate if it will sell enough vehicles at an attainable price to recoup the investment.
CarAdvice understands manufacturers of mainstream models aim to sell at least 8000 right-hand-drive examples per annum (unless you're Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porsche, for example) to make a sustainable business case.
While many Ford fans are excited by the idea of a Bronco, consider this: the benchmark Jeep Wrangler – which Ford has so openly said is the target for the Bronco – has consistently hovered around 1100 sales per annum in Australia.
It is unclear how Jeep makes the right-hand-drive Wrangler business case – although the UK and other right-hand-drive markets would assist with economy of scale – however, it would explain why we don’t get a vast choice of engines and why it comes with a premium price.
Looking at the prospect of a Ford Bronco ute with a glass half-full perspective, we had our resident photoshop illustrator whiz Theophilus Chin knock up our version of what a two-door and four-door Bronco ute could look like.
For the record, the overseas reports claim only a four-door Bronco ute is planned, but we loved how the two-door looked, so we’ve added that to our dream garage.
Let us know in the comments below if you reckon Ford should bring the Bronco and Bronco ute to Australia.