Jeep Wrangler vs. Ford Bronco: No losers early

Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iSeeCars.com, said he thinks Ford and Jeep should both be happy with how their off-road rivalry is going so far.

The Bronco “turns more people into adventurous off-road enthusiasts,” Brauer said, “rather than taking a set number of those people and stealing them from Jeep.”

S&P Global said nearly half of Bronco buyers already have a Ford in their garage. The survey found that Bronco’s customers tend to be slightly younger than Wrangler buyers, have marginally higher incomes, and are more likely to be male.

Anderson said the Wrangler has a cult-like following that’s hard to break even if buyers like some of the Bronco tech. At this stage, he wouldn’t call it a sales race between the Bronco and Wrangler as much as a production battle, with Ford trying to fill a backlog of orders amid the ongoing microchip shortage.

“There was so much market expectation and hype for the vehicle,” said Fernando Varela, who owns two Ford stores in Palestine and Kilgore, Texas. “What we do is fulfill orders for people who have placed orders in the last two years. They really don’t stay in stock for long.”

Orders for the Bronco 2022 are closed. Anderson said he wouldn’t be surprised if Ford sold the Broncos out for two or three years before dealers can keep them in stock.

“I think the overall market will only grow” in the off-road division, Anderson said. “That’s where the Broncos are going to step in and not necessarily gain market share from Jeep, but gain some of the new market share. That’s how they’re going to survive.”