Is Toyota watching and cat-and-mouse on the abiding accession of the Ford Bronco afore about committing to an FJ Cruiser replacement?
Don’t bet adjoin it, as aboriginal signs point to a able and abiding sales bonanza for the reborn Bronco, a agent that is conceptually actual agnate to the Toyota as able-bodied as the beloved Jeep Wrangler.
Developed in Australia beneath Ford’s T6 Ranger/Everest affairs and apparent in July for the North American market, Bronco agitation has gone through the roof, with an 18-month cat-and-mouse account and over 150,000 (albeit refundable) orders and counting. Plus, 3500 examples of the circa-$90,000 Aboriginal Edition awash out aural hours… alert over. Admitting it won’t ability barter until abutting June, Ford already has a bona-fide hit on its hands.
It is bright Toyota wants to ascertain how continued the Bronco’s success lasts, and seems accommodating to abide its time on back to re-enter the awakening SUV bazaar it helped ad-lib with addition avant-garde booty on its archetypal FJ40 four-wheel drive awash from 1960 to 1984.
Interestingly, in a ‘let’s see who blinks first’ scenario, if or back Toyota does accord the blooming ablaze for the FJ Cruiser replacement, that could additionally acceptable beggarly the ambitious for Ford Australia to do the aforementioned with the Bronco.
How? Despite letters of Bronco actuality barred from our shores for actuality a left-hand-drive-only proposition, it is accepted that Ford Australia and New Zealand’s new admiral and CEO, Andrew Birkic, ability be a actual able adherent for the Bronco Down Under, back the adept architect played a allotment in its development as a aftereffect of his “integral role” in the T6 architecture.
While right-hand-drive models haven’t yet been announced, the Bronco’s underpinnings are acutely accessible for it.
Whatever the Australian approaching is for the FJ Cruiser backup or Bronco, Toyota is still set to go afterwards the retro-SUV bazaar anyway, with the abate Bronco Sport-rivalling TJ Cruiser.
Unveiled in abstraction guise at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, it mimics the Ford by actuality based on a average SUV belvedere – in this case, the Toyota New Global Architectonics (TNGA) as begin in the berserk acknowledged Toyota RAV4 – rather than a body-on-frame barter as per the old Toyota Prado-derived FJ Cruiser (and bigger Bronco).
Maybe the T in TJ Cruiser stands for TNGA.
The Bronco Sport, by the way, employs Ford’s C2 architectonics that underpins the latest Focus and new Escape.
It was broadly appear aftermost year that Toyota had accustomed the all-clear for the TJ Cruiser to access production, with belief in February suggesting that the apple would see the accomplished agent apparent in May. Inevitably, however, that was afore the COVID-19 communicable alleged for a abrupt change of plans.
Now, afterwards abutting year ability be the ancient time we see the TJ Cruiser, as a 2022 model. If we do, and Australia is on Toyota’s plans, Ford Australia may retaliate with the Bronco Sport, in yet addition tit-for-tat from the two celebrated battling brands.
The aboriginal FJ Cruiser, by the way, was in no bustle to blitz abrupt to Australia back it debuted at the Detroit auto appearance in 2003 as a 2005 model. We didn’t see it locally until aboriginal 2011. But the awakening Toyota 4×4 accepted a hit anyway, with sales acceleration antecedent expectations for the aboriginal three years, afore crumbling clearly afterwards that.
The FJ Cruiser was aloof from Australia in 2017, admitting it continues to be awash elsewhere.
Gallery: 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti analysis (CarAdvice.com.au)