The ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with a global microchip shortage has left many automakers with unplanned production stoppages and the lowest inventory levels that the industry has seen in the modern era. This year also saw the introduction of the closest thing to a real competitor to the Wrangler in the ford of the new Ford Bronco, but all of these challengers haven’t stopped the legendary SUV from posting better numbers this year than last.
A Ford representative recently made a comment about how it has “been a long year for Jeep watching Bronco and Bronco Sport rack up hundreds of thousands of sales and reservations”, but in looking at the sales numbers for the Ford and Jeep brands, the sales numbers don’t point to it being a long year for the folks at the Jeep brand. Even with the component and production issues, and the arrival of the Bronco, the Wrangler is up year-over-year, as is the Jeep brand as a whole.
Meanwhile, the Ford brand is down compared to the first three months of 2020 and the Motor Company has yet to deliver 100,000 vehicles with Bronco in the name – so while they might have hundreds of thousands of reservations, Jeep has sold over a hundred thousand Wranglers.
Wrangler and Bronco Sales in 2021
Through the first 9 months of 2021, the Jeep brand has sold 164,710 examples of the Wrangler. That number represents an improvement of 10% over the same period last year, even with production constraints leading to inventory shortages. The 3rd quarter accounted for 46,044 of those.
The Ford Bronco began shipping to dealerships and owners in June, but the first month of what appears to be normal sales numbers came in July, when the Motor Company delivered 3,277 Broncos. Ford then delivered 2,730 Broncos in August and 3,396 in September, for a total of 9,403 units sold during the 3rd quarter of 2021. When you add in the 801 units delivered in June, Ford has officially sold and delivered 10,204 examples of their new Wrangler killer.
Based on 3rd quarter sales, the Wrangler is outselling the Bronco at a rate of nearly 5 to 1. Of course, as Ford continues to increase the rate at which the Bronco is being built, shipped and delivered, Ford is sure to close that gap a bit. For now, the gap is huge and the competition is tough, with the Wrangler being the tried-and-true off-road machine that Bronco owners hope to get from their new SUV – even with the questionable independent front suspension. Once some of those “hundreds of thousands” of reservations are delivered, Ford may close the gap with the Wrangler.
The good news for Ford is that the little Bronco Sport is selling pretty well, with 81,204 units delivered this year. The most direct competitor for the Bronco Sport from Jeep is the Renegade, which has managed just over 41,000 units sold this year. Ford is clearly winning the fight among the smaller, less capable SUVs.
Jeep Leads in Overall Sales, Too
Ford has committed itself to a future of all trucks and SUVs, and that isnt a terrible decision. After all, the F-Series pickup has been the bestselling vehicle in the USA for four decades. However, Jeep SUVs are still outselling Ford SUVs, even when including the numbers for the Mustang Mach E.
Through the first 9 months of 2021, Jeep has sold 604,671 SUVs while Ford has sold 535,877 SUVs during the same period of time.
Gladiator is Beating Ranger Badly
Finally, the last related battle going on between Ford and Jeep is in the mid-sized truck segment. For those who are unaware, the Ranger is based on the same chassis platform as the Bronco, in a similar fashion to how the Wrangler and Gladiator share a platform. The key difference is that Jeep has kept a shared physical appearance while Ford has given the two body-on-frame mid-sized vehicles a very different look from each other.
Ford has sold 72,706 Rangers during the first 9 months of 2021, down 2% from the year before. Jeep has sold 92,304 examples of the Gladiator, up 25% from the same period in 2020. The Chevrolet Colorado has moved 51,555 (down 25%) while the GMC Canyon has accounted for 17,970 units through the end of September (up 11%). The segment leader is the Toyota Tacoma with 200,631 units sold through Q3, up 23%.
In other words,the newcomer in the mid-sized pickup segment ranks second, behind the Toyota that has led the segment for decades. Jeep likely doesn’t expect to knock the Tacoma off, but being the bestselling American mid-sized pickup is a major accomplishment.