We knew the 2021 Ford Bronco was going to be a hot SUV based on interest in the vehicle, the sharp retro styling and the impressive feature set. Exactly how hot was the question, and we have a much better idea of that now that Ford has revealed the number of reservations. The company announced it has more than 190,000 reservation holders ready to finalize their Bronco orders. We have more information than that, though, thanks to Mark Grueber, Ford’s U.S. consumer marketing manager. He talked with us about what some of the more popular Bronco choices are, as well as a little bit of info on how Ford gauges what to do next.
On the whole, Bronco reservation holders are going for high-trim vehicles. The Wildtrak is the most popular trim with about 26% of holders choosing it, and the Badlands follows it with about 20%, leaving the other 54% of orders to be split among the base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks and First Edition. The Wildtrak and Badlands are the two most expensive trim levels with the most standard off-road equipment short of the limited production First Edition. Speaking of off-road equipment, the Sasquatch Package, which adds 35-inch tires and front and rear locking differentials among other things, is proving to be extremely popular with a bit less than half of reserved Broncos featuring the package.
As for body styles, the four-door Bronco was selected by two-thirds of reservation holders, and the other third picked the two-door. Grueber said that they were expecting the four-door to be the bigger seller, but the number of two-door buyers was notably higher than expected. Also popular is the 2.7-liter V6, though Grueber didn’t say how much more popular it is than the four-cylinder. Not hugely popular is the manual transmission, which is only available with the four-cylinder. Grueber said that only about 10% of four-cylinder reservation holders opted for the manual transmission. But he did note that take rate is better than a lot of cars. Indeed, that’s significantly better than the particularly low take rate on mainstream cars such as the Honda Accord that recently lost its manual option because no more than 2% of buyers chose it.
We also talked with Grueber a little bit about how Ford decides on new features, in particular, the decision to offer the Sasquatch Package with the manual transmission. As it turns out, Ford is watching forums and internet posts as part of their research for what to offer customers. The company also relies on direct feedback from customers as well as what dealers tell them. Grueber said that the manual Sasquatch option was made quite obvious shortly after the reveal. Apparently the option was already in the works, but the company brought up the launch window and announcement because it was one of the most requested features following the reveal. And in case anyone is curious as to why it’s still not going to be available until late 2021, it’s because the company is still doing some final testing on the powertrain combo.
The company will be relying on this consumer info for other future options and features. One of those features will be a white roof, which has been another popular request, possibly because of the blue concept Bronco shown with the reveal. The white roof is slated to go on sale in 2022.