Dead before it was even confirmed, that seems to be the fate for the long-rumoured Ford Bronco pickup truck.
Ford has told suppliers it will not proceed with a planned Bronco ute, multiple sources have informed Automotive News.
As the Bronco SUV is based on the Ranger platform, it’s likely the Bronco pickup would have been around the same size as the 5.4m dual-cab Ranger.
Given the probable sizing and pricing overlap, the Bronco ute might well have cannibalised Ranger sales even if it might have swayed some customers away from the Jeep Gladiator.
Introducing a new petrol-powered model to the range would also run counter to Ford’s plans to derive 40 per cent of global car sales from EVs by 2030.
The launch of the new Bronco SUV has been been hurt by quality issues, with the company slowing production and ordering a recall for the “unsatisfactory cosmetic appearance” of the car’s optional hardtop roof.
Based on the Ranger, the Bronco is a go-anywhere four-wheel drive in the same mould as the Jeep Wrangler.
Ford has also launched a smaller Bronco Sport model, which takes styling cues from the Bronco and applies it to an Escape-based crossover.
At this point no Bronco-branded models have been confirmed for Australia.
The new Ranger will have a tougher design inspired by the F-150, and will be offered with a hybrid drivetrain for the first time.
It will also serve as the basis for the second-generation Volkswagen Amarok.