LAS VEGAS — For Ford Motor Co. dealers, accessories are far from an afterthought on the revived Bronco SUV.
After some stores encountered issues during last year's launch of the Ranger pickup, Ford is making significant changes to encourage Bronco buyers to load up with all-weather mats, soft tops and as many other add-ons as possible.
Those extras are key to boosting dealer profits on the Bronco and reasserting Ford's credibility in the off-road space so it can steal share from Jeep.
Ford's lofty volume target for the Bronco family of vehicles adds urgency to the accessories strategy. The automaker told dealers it's aiming for combined sales of 200,000 next year for the SUV and a smaller crossover it's calling the Bronco Sport.
The automaker in recent months has replaced more than half of its regional accessories distributors, updated a website for dealers and promised faster parts shipments when the rugged utility arrives in early 2021. Officials plan to initially offer more than 150 Bronco accessories, all of which can be warrantied and financed through Ford Motor Credit Co.