Ford Bronco versus Jeep Wrangler. It's the new rivalry that motoring fans just can't get enough of. There's no denying that Ford aimed its reborn off-roader squarely at Jeep's legendary 4x4, but with a year of sales now under the Bronco's belt, is the Wrangler feeling pressure from its first direct competition in decades?

According to research from IHS Markit, the general answer to that question is no. Perhaps a better is not yet, as the data does mention some Jeep buyers jumping ship but it's not enough to make a dent in Wrangler's overall market share. There are also other factors at play, not the least of which being Bronco's recent arrival and the initial frenzy that comes with new models.

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Sales data from IHS Markit plots market share for the Jeep Wrangler going back to 2019. The roller coaster that was 2020 saw its share dip to just below 6 percent then climb to 11 percent, before settling back into a fluctuating range between 7 and 9 percent. With Bronco sales beginning in the summer of 2021, we see do see Wrangler share drop to around 6 percent before returning to 8 percent early this year. Meanwhile, Bronco's share has risen to approximately 5 percent. So in the grand scheme of things, the Wrangler is holding its own as the Bronco expands in the SUV segment.

Gallery: 2022 Jeep Wrangler

So where are Bronco buyers coming from? The study mentions other SUVs as losing some share, specifically the Honda CR-V, Jeep Cherokee, and Nissan Rogue. It seems Bronco is bringing new buyers into the off-road-focused SUV world, and for this first year, the study also cites brand loyalty as a driving factor in Bronco sales. Nearly half of Bronco buyers already own a Ford, while only four of 10 Wrangler owners have a Jeep.

While Wrangler's market share is holding steady, the study does mention some defection in the Wrangler ranks. IHS Markit says more Jeep owners have switched to Bronco than any other brand since it went on sale last year. The study also points out that Bronco is still a new vehicle, and data will level out once the initial excitement among buyers subsides.

Through the first quarter of 2022 ending in March, Jeep outsold Bronco by nearly 9,000 units. However, year-over-year Wrangler sales are down 8 percent, though enduring supply chain issues could have something to do with that. It will be interesting to see how sales compare for the first half of the year, which should be reported by Ford and Jeep in just a couple of weeks.

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