LAS VEGAS — The wait for the Bronco is nearly over.
Ford Motor Co. plans to introduce the off-road SUV next month, dealers were told at the brand's annual make meeting at the NADA Show here. The introduction of a smaller off-road crossover, called the Bronco Sport, will follow in April, likely at the New York auto show.
Executives told dealers Sunday that they expect sales of the Bronco family of vehicles — which will initially include two-door and four-door versions of the Bronco as well as the Bronco Sport — will hit at least 200,000 in 2021 as they seek volume to challenge Jeep.
The Bronco Sport will go on sale late this year, while the Bronco won't be available until early 2021.
Ford is planning an aggressive rollout of hundreds of Bronco accessories to help boost profitability. The automaker has made changes to its accessories business following the launch of the Ranger midsize pickup in 2019 to ensure parts will be available at launch, dealers were told.
Anticipation for the Bronco has been building since Ford confirmed the rugged utility's return at the 2017 Detroit auto show. Dealers have said the Bronco could be among Ford's most important launches, even in a year that includes a redesigned F-150 and introduction of the Mustang Mach-E.
"As dealers, we're big optimists," John Crane, Ford's national dealer council chairman and owner of Golf Mill Ford in Niles, Ill., told Automotive News. "We need to know the product is coming.
"Now that everyone knows the Bronco is coming, we know that's going to transform our business. For a lot of dealers, just hearing this isn't a one-vehicle play, it's a family of vehicles, people are walking out of here very positive."
Ford told dealers they would not need to sign up for specific facility requirements to sell the Bronco; it would be available to every retailer at launch. The SUV is designed to be customizable, with a removable hard top and removable doors that can be stored in the vehicle's cargo area, and dealers are banking on additional revenue from accessories, similar to Jeep.