If there's one thing that's true about the Ford Bronco, owners love to buy things to personalize them. Indeed, in the year or more since they went on sale, buyers have added many items that aren't on the standard order sheet.
Bronco Buyers Spend As Much As $5,000
According to a recent Automotive News article, some Bronco buyers spend lots of cash outfitting their SUVs for things like off-roading. For example, at one dealership in the Las Vegas area, some buyers have added $4,000 to $5,000 worth of add-on equipment. Among the favorite items were things like light bars and tube doors. The dealership has sold about 700 Broncos in the time it has been on the market.
Ford told Automotive News that the automaker had sold more than one million factory-backed accessories since the Bronco was available in a year or so. (During the time the Bronco has been on sale, the automaker has announced a program available through Ford Performance – the automaker's accessory/performance arm. It is proving quite lucrative.)
On average, most buyers spend less on accessorizing their Broncos than the off-roading crowd in Las Vegas. According to Ford, the Bronco is now the automaker's "most accessorized product." On average, Bronco buyers are spending $1,700 on accessories for their SUVs. That figure is across 240 parts in the Ford Performance catalog.
The most popular add-ons have included modular front bumpers, winches, off-road lights, and the accessories identified by the Las Vegas dealer. Other accessories available for those who want to personalize their Broncos include roof-mounted tents for camping weekends, tires and racks, tables, and other specialized items that help make their Broncos special. Indeed, some Bronco buyers upfit their SUVs with things like unique storage drawers and such.
Accessory Sales Generate Profits
A Ford marketing maven shared with Automotive News that the Bronco brand is lucrative for the automaker. For example, if you look at the automaker's various profit centers – pickups, SUVs, and the like – you will find that one of the automaker's other popular vehicles, the F-150 pickup, generates about $800 in accessory sales. According to the trade paper's story discussing accessory sales, the Bronco Sport – front- or all-wheel-drive, unibody construction – generates about the same base additional revenue on accessories. On the one hand, the small Bronco generates about half the amount of money generated by the full-sized Bronco model.
Broncos Profitable Addition As Customers Spend Up To $1,700 On Accessories
Mark Grueber, Ford's U.S. consumer marketing manager, says, "It's the core to the success of Bronco … For dealers, it's a great opportunity not only from a profit standpoint but also long-term management with customers. It's a great proof of what Ford can do, how this opportunity, and how ample it is going forward.
To prove this point, the Las Vegas dealer that the trade paper quoted, Steve Olliges of Team Ford, enthused that in the year that Broncos have been on sale, his dealership has sold about 700 Broncos. The dealer says he cannot remember another Ford product that presented the SUV's opportunities. His enthusiasm for the Bronco brand has meant that the auto dealer has invested about $10 million in an accessory shop about a mile from the main showroom where they will sell Broncos and accessories. So, what's the name of the new addition? It's the Bronco Barn, of course.
Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations Shell and Texaco (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper, "You Auto Know," an enterprise I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my living while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.