The Ford Bronco has been a massive success for Ford. Since it was unveiled in July 2020, the off-road community has been ecstatic about the SUV, and sales have been catching up to the Jeep Wrangler as more trims have been released since the initial release. Seeing how profitable that market is, you wouldn’t be alone in wondering if General Motors has a response to the Ford Bronco. However, GM having little to say on the off-road SUV is intentional, as GM President Mark Reuss has no intention of building a Bronco fighter.
Reuss recently told The Drive that he isn’t going to “do a Bronco” during an interview at the 24 Hours of Daytona. At least, not one powered by an internal combustion engine. Reuss explained that he wants to avoid introducing a product like that behind the competition, which would put the brand last in bringing a two-row, body-on-frame 4×4 to the market. In addition, Reuss stated that he doesn’t want the brand to move backward by adding another internal combustion vehicle to its lineup, as corporate average fuel economy remains a severe obstacle to automakers.
Ironically, as MC&T first reported a few years ago, GM was working on a Ford Bronco rival up until 2018, which would have also competed with the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner. This SUV was planned to share an architecture with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsized trucks. This program, along with the original plans of the seventh-generation Camaro, a special V8 engine called the LT3, and several other programs were jettisoned as the automotive giant went through a restructuring that prioritized future electric vehicles, and also saw the reshuffling of performance vehicle teams, with several members of the Camaro and Corvette programs going to EV programs.
To keep score, the new Ford Bronco didn’t launch until 2020, two years after GM’s midsize body-on-frame SUV plans went kaput. And with Covid disruptions, that was barely the case. Moreover, the off-road SUV market continues to see year over year growth, with Bronco sales increasing, but market share for the Jeep Wrangler holding steady. This means the pie is getting bigger, and bigger. And with the erosion of the muscle car market, enthusiast buyers and fun-having individuals appear to be gravitating to this exciting market space.
Yet GM continues to stay out of this particular sand box.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Reuss didn’t deny that we could see GM make an electric vehicle similar to the Bronco in the future. In addition, there have been rumors of a smaller Hummer EV on the way, which could fall in a similar category to the Bronco. Still, it wouldn’t fall in as a competitor to the Bronco as pricing will play a significant factor in terms of competitiveness, and the Hummer EV is far from cheap.
We likely won’t see anything to combat the Ford Bronco anytime soon as GM has been hitting its stride with producing a fresh lineup of new BEVs, and their attention remains on launching those products. If the Chevrolet Blazer hadn’t been reformed into a soccer mom SUV, we’d already see one heading to the market with the Blazer EV. But since that’s no longer a body-on-frame 4×4, we won’t see a Bronco fighter anytime soon, and if we do, it won’t be called the Blazer.