Ford’s troubles with both the Ford Bronco and its smaller cousin the Bronco Sport have been a textbook example of how plans for launches can collapse in rather spectacular fashion. The Bronco Sport for example was supposed to have made its debut (despite the efforts of leakers) at the 2020 New York Auto Show. However, the Coronavirus outbreak put a damper on that plan (as well as a separate attempt to unveil it in Dearborn.) In addition to the virus throwing a monkey wrench into launching it, it appears that even production of the tiny Bronco has been affected, with Ford revealing that it has delayed production of the Bronco Sport by two months.
This is according to statements released by several automotive suppliers during an interview with the publication Automotive News. In those remarks, suppliers claimed that parts destined for pilot production of the tiny CUV were supposed to be shipped out to Fords Hermosillo, Mexico plant with a tentative production start date of July 13th. But with the virus forcing many aspects of the auto industry to shut down, it would appear that the timeline for this model was impacted with the suppliers claiming that Ford has pushed that figure two months to September 7th.
As for the launch itself, The Bronco Sport could indeed end up making its appearance in the Big Apple during the rescheduled New York Auto Show in August, but that would depend on whether New York City is still in a state of crisis, as well as how long it would take to bring the Javitz Center back to normal (it is currently serving as a field hospital for COVID-19 patients in the city.) Ford for its part has not formally commented on the Bronco Sport as of yet, and has not done so since the first wave of leaks began a few months ago.
On the subject of those leaks, they do appear to reveal a good amount of detail about the Bronco Sport. The Sport will ride on the same platform as the 2020 Ford Escape, and that means that both the 1.5 liter three cylinder base engine, as well as the spicier 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder will carryover to the Bronco Sport. Look for the Bronco Sport to also share the Escape’s eight speed automatic which was developed in a rare partnership between Ford and arch-rival General Motors. However, while the Escape can be had in either front or all-wheel drive, look for the Bronco Sport to be a purely all-wheel drive affair only. Design and heritage will be key pillars for the Bronco lineup, with separate leaks revealing that Ford will name the trim levels after prominent national parks, as well as offering a whole host of accessories and options to help bring a level of creativity and individuality that we have only seen prior on Jeep products.
In addition to the Bronco Sport, other models could also have their formal launches impacted by the widening scope of the pandemic. In a recent phone interview that Ford CEO Jim Hackett had with a Detroit radio station last month, Hackett revealed that both the 2021 F-150 and even the Mach-E could potentially have their launches scaled back. “If they’re a month or six weeks late, I don’t think anyone would think we fumbled there because of the virus.”