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Ford’s curious strategy to prevent Bronco copies on the Chinese market

There are already a couple of Chinese brands that have attempted to imitate the U.S. SUV for local customers

Ford Bronco
Ford will manufacture a Bronco for Chinese customers in China itself.MIIT

Many American and European cars have served as inspiration for Chinese manufacturers. Well aware of this, Ford has designed a curious strategy to prevent any more Ford Bronco copies emerging on overseas markets.

Jetour, with its Traveller model, and Great Wall Motor (GWM), with the Haval Cool Dog, are two of the Chinese brands that have tried to imitate the Bronco for their local market. In order to stop this trend and, after introducing it to the European market, Ford will also sell the SUV in China.

Production will be carried out jointly with the local company Jiangling Ford, which in addition to the Ford Bronco also produces the Ranger. It is a way to avoid copycat vehicles and also to make both models more affordable for Chinese buyers.

The model has not formally debuted yet, but the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has leaked four images in which it is possible to determine that at least externally, the differences between the Chinese Ford Bronco and the American or European model are minimal.

Slightly wider and taller

The Chinese Ford Bronco measures between 4.80 and 4.82 meters in length, 2.07 meters in width and 1.99 meters in height; the wheelbase is 2.95 meters. Both this data and the width are maintained, but the length and height differ: something that might have to do with the wheels and wheel arches, which are also different.

Not surprisingly, the MIIT images show a four-door Ford Bronco with two types of tires, bumpers and fenders: everything suggests that the choice of one or the other will depend on the finish.

Among other tweaks are the Ford name on the grille above the Bronco designation and the Chinese lettering on the tailgate. Initially, no major modifications are planned for the interior.

As powerful as the European model

As reported by Car News China, the Ford Bronco for the Chinese market is powered by a 2.3-liter turbocharged engine manufactured by Changan Ford. This mechanical scheme develops 270 hp and has a maximum torque of 455 Nm: it has the same power as the access model in Europe and 30 hp less than the American one.

On the other hand, the gearbox could also be different: instead of the 10-ratio torque converter automatic transmission, it will be equipped with an eight-speed one. There will be no room for a manual transmission.

Cheaper than in the U.S.

If all goes according to plan, Jiangling Ford will start production of the Bronco in 2024. In China at the moment, the SUV is priced between 700,000 and 1,200,000 yuan: $97,280-$166,766, depending on the current exchange rate.

Those figures are more than double the price of the Ford Bronco in the United States. With local production, the price of the SUV could drop to 300,000 yuan, or $41,691, significantly cheaper than imported models and units on sale in Europe and the U.S.

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