New Ford Bronco starts rolling off the assembly line after 25 years

New Ford Bronco starts rolling off the assembly line after 25 years
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Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has started manufacturing the Bronco SUV again after a 25-year hiatus. The automaker is delivering the first SUVs to dealers a little earlier than expected. Ford said in December that pandemic-related supply issues would push back the first Bronco deliveries to late summer.

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Ford Livestreams Delivery Event

Taking a page from Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)'s book, Ford is livestreaming a Bronco Celebration event at 10 a.m. Eastern from its factory in Michigan. The livestream will feature Bronco team members and provide a closer look at the Modification Center, where Ford customizes trucks onsite with accessories before they are shipped.

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According to CNBC, the Bronco is expected to be one of Ford's most crucial nonelectric vehicle launches in years. The two- and four-door models currently rolling off the assembly line will likely be the flagship for a new Bronco family of vehicles.

Bronco marketing manager Mark Grueber told CNBC on Monday during a tour of the factory that it's "amazing" to see the new SUVs rolling off the line. He noted that it was almost 25 years to the day that the last Bronco rolled down the line. The date was June 12, 1996. Ford originally produced the Bronco from 1965 to 1996.

Longtime Plan To Bring The Bronco Back

Ford has been working on bringing the Bronco back for years, having initially announced plans to do so in January 2017. The new Bronco joins the smaller and less expensive Bronco Sport, which recently started landing in dealer showrooms in the U.S. toward the end of last year. The Bronco Sport is built in Mexico and features the Bronco styling but is built more like a crossover or car than a truck.

Grueber told CNBC that the Michigan factory is "trying to ramp up production as fast as we can to satisfy the huge demand." The automaker's Michigan Assembly plant is running two of three shifts with 3,000 workers, including 2,800 hourly members of the United Auto Workers union. Union leaders believe the new Bronco will be a hit and push Ford to add a third shift. The factory also produces the midsize Ranger pickup truck.

The Ford Bronco starts at $30,000 to $60,000, depending on the trim level selected, while the Bronco Sport starts at $28,000 to $40,000.

Ford is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders' families.

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