Mark Grueber, a Ford marketing director who was part of an internal group that pushed for the SUV's return, said the company has roughly 125,000 customer orders for the Bronco. The first shipments will reach dealerships in the coming days, he said.
The automaker has been hyping the return of its off-road SUV since publicly revealing plans to revive the nameplate in January 2017. Executives are banking on the new Bronco family — which includes the Bronco Sport already on sale — to generate big profits and steal market share from Jeep.
Dealers are so excited for the new product that they asked Ford to mock up designs for standalone Bronco showrooms, and about 100 have plans to build one to show off the vehicles as well as a host of accessories.
Ford supplier Webasto previously had issues producing roofs for the vehicle. Ford said earlier this year that two optional roof choices — the "modular painted" hard top and "dual roof" — would be delayed until the 2022 model year. It is compensating customers with FordPass Rewards points and other gifts.
Officials on Monday declined to give any production goals or say how many Broncos will come off the line every minute. Ford often brags that one F-150 pickup is finished every 53 seconds.
"There's a lot of Broncos coming out of the corral," Plant Manager Erik Williams said.
Mario Williams, who noted he was born a year after production of the original 1966 Bronco began, said he's often asked by friends and family about the new product.
"There's a lot of buzz out there, different rumors; it's like we're working on some kind of spaceship," he said. "Everybody asks, 'What does it look like? What does it do?' It can't fly, but it can do just about everything but that."