It's a bit strange to report on a rumored cancelation of a rumored project, but as we've all seen over the last year, the Ford Bronco plays by its own rules. This is basically what we have today, with Automotive News stating Ford's plan to build a Bronco pickup truck is canceled.
Those plans were never official in the first place, but it was widely speculated that Ford had every intention to send the Bronco into battle against Jeep at all levels. That included the Gladiator, which obviously would've been the singular target for a bed-equipped Bronco. Now, it seems we'll never know what Ford's unconfirmed Bronco pickup vision would've been like.
We first heard rumors of a Bronco pickup back just over a year ago, in July 2020 to be exact. It was a credible rumor that pointed to a targeted release in 2024, and that rumor was later supported by official Ford design sketches that showed a possible Bronco truck. Of course, the original Bronco was available as a truck so history supported building a new one. And Ford did state its interest in creating an entire Bronco brand. In short, there wasn't any reason to think Ford wouldn't do it.
Or was there?
The Jeep Gladiator fills a mid-size pickup truck role that's otherwise absent in the American brands under Stellantis. The Dodge Dakota died a decade ago, leaving Ram and its full-size offerings the only truck in former FCA's North American stable. Meanwhile, Ford reignited the mid-size Ranger for US buyers, and it's slated for a significant update in 2023. And lest we forget the compact Ford Maverick, which has clocked 100,000 reservations ahead of its on-sale date later this year. Ford already offers plenty of pickups in all shapes and sizes. Was there even room for a Bronco version?
Gallery: 2021 Ford Bronco: First Drive
There's also the looming issue of continued supply problems affecting not just Bronco production, but most Ford production. There are also nagging quality issues with tops that have gobs of Broncos sitting idle awaiting updates before they can ship to dealers. It's such an issue that 2021 Bronco production was ended early because of it. Anyone in manufacturing will tell you it's hard to launch a new product when you can't even build the one you currently have.
That's not to say we won't eventually see a Bronco truck. But it seems the immediate plans, unofficial as they were, are sidelined for now.