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Land Rover CEO Welcomes Bronco To Burgeoning Off-Road SUV Segment

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Since it was revealed last summer, the 2021 Ford Bronco has at least one competing automaker a bit worried, understandably. Stellantis’ Jeep brand is perhaps the most publically concerned as Ford prepares to launch the only real direct competitor the Wrangler has faced in recent years, even sending out a letter to dealers last year feebly (and laughably) attempting to prove that it’s a superior product to the forthcoming Ford Bronco.

On the flip side, General Motors is quite content with its unibody crossover version of the Chevrolet Blazer, as Ford Authority exclusively reported last fall, and now it seems that Land Rover -makers of the off-road-focused Defender SUV – aren’t sweating the Bronco, either.

“There are a lot of vehicles now with a rich heritage,” Joe Eberhardt, president and CEO of Land Rover North America, told MotorTrend in a recent interview. Eberhardt noted that the Bronco is having a positive impact on the off-road SUV segment overall, helping to attract buyers that seek authenticity from their vehicles and heritage brands that are capable of taking them anywhere.

At the same time, Eberhardt doesn’t view the Defender as a direct competitor to the Bronco or Wrangler, per se, but as more of a second car or sports car replacement that, at least in two-door form, makes for an attractive choice for urban dwellers. And while that may be true, the Defender is still going to be competing in the same segment as the Bronco and Wrangler. Offered in two-door 90 and four-door 110 variants, the rugged SUV is quite capable off-road and is available with V8 power to counter the Wrangler Rubicon 392 as well.

In terms of pricing, the cheapest Defender starts out at $46,100, which is a bit more than the base price of a two-door Bronco or Wrangler. Thus, it will be interesting to see how these three rugged SUVs perform on the sales charts once the Bronco deliveries finally begin in the coming weeks.

We’ll have more on what Ford’s competition is up to soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for continuous Ford news coverage.

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Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. royl

    Funny, now that Land Rover is owned by TATA motor (India), and tata builds huge numbers of 4x4s. Just like other companies from india, many of their vehicles look almost exactly like others, from other countries/companies. In fact Mahindra’s copy of the jeep, being imported into the US, was so close, the courts ruled in favor of Jeep. In any case, i look forward to seeing a “almost the same” bronco in india, very soon. Of course, the indian copy will have a diesel! Sweet. And of course it will sell for less than half price.

    Reply
    1. Me

      Most people prefer big tatas

      Reply
      1. GaryB

        Boing!

        Reply
      2. Stalkbroker94

        I’ll second that.

        Reply
  2. JimL

    I would love to see Lincoln do an ultra-luxury off take built on the Bronco bones, to offer competition to Land Rover.

    Reply
    1. Roy Chile’s

      I would love to see Lincoln build something Luxury Unique other than A bunch of Ford SUV Wagons hand me downs. Lincoln is no match for Land Rover at all,Be what U R Not what your not….

      Reply
    2. Stalkbroker94

      Indeed. I’d also like to see something akin to the Lincoln Mark VIII resurrected. Imagine a modern Lincoln-based Mustang.
      On second thought, just bring back the Thunderbird.

      Reply
  3. Ryan M

    The primary differentiator of the new Land Rover “Defender” is you can buy and drive one now, at least until it breaks down and spends the rest of it’s natural life in the shop…

    Reply
  4. David Pickford

    Why wouldn’t they welcome them, they hardly sell any land rovers in the USA and Ford won’t be doing a RHD version so no matter even if they said the Bronco was a better vehicle Allround it won’t affect their sales. Ford needs to stop being so introverted and open its arms and mind to RHD, look what happened with the ‘stang after they agreed to it being made in RHD, best selling sports car in the world and best in every country it’s sold in.

    Reply
    1. Steve Simmons

      Agreed David. It’s crazy to me that Ford has said no to a RHD version. I am in Australia and I am sure the Bronco would steal half of the Jeep and Land Rover sales. I had about 10 friends ready to buy the Bronco… until they realised there was no RHD. Even at close to 100k (Australian dollars) I’d rather buy a top of the line kitted out Bronco then a Land Rover Defender or Jeep Wrangler. Realistically, Bronco, Jeep and Land Rover Defender are all more than capable enough for me offroad… I probably go 4wd two or three times a year… but the Bronco has so much more swag and versatility than the others. RHD please Ford.

      Reply
    2. Alfa164headlinersag

      Actually they sell tons of cars here in the US. I can’t go a block without seeing a Land Rover of some kind but then again I don’t live in the boonies. Just read despite the chip shortage that they have over 100,000 Defender orders alone waiting in que. As an owner of a 2021 Defender I have no issues with another competent off-reader on the market and the bronco should be a fun toy. But in the end it’s a toy with very little utility; the Defender has heaps more payload and towing capacity and I put mine to the test towing a 6500 lb trailer from Seattle to Atlanta. Neither Jeep nor Bronco has any real utility something people often conveniently forget. As far as reliability I’m still towing with my 150k mileage 2008 LR3 with zero issues.

      Reply
  5. Mike

    Ah Yes. Land Rover. The finest SUV made for the highway!

    Reply
  6. David Pickford

    I knew they sold plenty of Range Rovers but wasn’t aware of big sales for the Defenders etc. My sister has been buying RangeRovers/Defenders since the 1980s and love them and also with virtually zero issues.

    Reply

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