Ford has been planning the 2021 Bronco for what seemed like almost a decade (okay it was less than that), so it seems odd now, in the 11th hour as the Bronco price and build configurator is open and orders are being taken, that Ford would seek key information from Bronco enthusiasts.
But that’s just what Ford is doing as many Bronco enthusiasts received an email survey from Ford soliciting information about the type of Bronco they’re interested in and also asking for key pieces of demographic information. This is a real head scratcher for me, this late into the process.
Wouldn’t Ford already have a good idea, at least on the demographics? Also, is Ford fishing for information about what builds might be most of interest because they are worried about delayed production?
Or is this a reaction to the outrage by some enthusiasts over the limited options for interior color and roof options? It’s hard to say, but let’s take a look at some of the survey questions and try to extrapolate what Ford is up to.
2021 Ford Bronco Survey
From the outstanding website bronco6g.com, a forum user screenshotted several of the questions from the recent survey Ford sent out to those who pre-ordered Broncos.
One key question it asks is if you’re still planning to buy or lease a new Bronco. That’s a fair question and is really just Ford trying to gauge the legit orders. There was rumored to be more than 150,000 actual pre-orders, but Ford would not confirm that. Then, one report indicated that when the Build and Price configurator opened up, there were more than 500,000 hits there of people playing around on there.
However, that is easy to explain as many were trying to pair up which options, which engine and what color would look best. I’d wager less than half of those potential builds would ever become anything, so this first question seems to want to get a better grip on that.
Another key questions asks for customers to rate from 1 to 5, what features interest them the most. Amongst the choices were: Powertrain, roof options, removable doors, terrain management and G.O.A.T. mode, Sync 4, driver assist features, towing capacity and wheel and tire options.
Amongst these inquiries, we’ve covered several, including the most pressing one, which was the addition of the manual transmission to the Sasquatch package with the 2.3-liter engine only.
However, as I reported many were upset with interior color options and lack of roof options. So perhaps this is Ford monitoring these forums and trying to appease them.
Also, I’ve written a lot about driver assist features, including the hands-free driving feature in the 2021 Ford F-150. Judging by the comments I received, this will be of little interest to Bronco enthusiasts.
As for Sync 4, I’ve written about the great improvements to that and honestly Sync 4 is one the things that has me excited about the 2021 Bronco.
Towing Capacity of 2021 Ford Bronco
I question how important towing is to Bronco enthusiasts. Clearly Ford does to as they ask about the level of interest in towing. But we do know the maximum towing capacity for the 2021 Ford Bronco is 3,500 pounds.
That seems to be the right number as it would be enough to tow a four-wheel or recreational vehicle on an off-road adventure.
Ford Gathering Demographic Information On Bronco Buyers
The most curious part of the survey to me appears to be a fishing expedition by Ford’s marketing department trying to drill down further what the typical Bronco buyer might be interested in. Activities inquired about include off roading, mountain biking, climbing, hiking/backpacking, outdoor sports, hunting/fishing, skiing/surfing, fishing and camping.
I would think all of these would be right in the typical Bronco enthusiasts’ wheelhouse. Certainly Ford has catered to these lifestyle types already with the trims, packages and accessories they’re offering on the 2021 Broncos. My colleague Marc Stern wrote about Ford creating the OG Concept to cater to the outdoor camping types.
With trim names that are exciting like Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Wildtrak and Badlands, Ford seems to already be in tune with their customers. Plus the Sasquatch Package appears to be incredibly popular with those who have placed orders.
As I wrote, Ford appears to be creating a brand with Bronco, not just a vehicle. That brand is centered around outdoor activity.
That brings me back to the gist of this article. Why is Ford springing this survey on customers now, so late into the process? From my seat, they appear to be marketing the Bronco brilliantly. The launch, with a few exceptions, went great. The feedback from enthusiasts and critics was mostly positive.
Is this survey just a reassurance for Ford, or are they worried about production demands? Or possibly, is Ford still showing that they’re listening to the enthusiasts and are willing to have the Bronco evolve further, around customer demand.
If that’s the case, that is smart. To my Bronco enthusiast friends, especially those on the internet forums and the enthusiast Facebook groups, your voices are being heard.
Have you received this survey? What do you think of it? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it and if you completed it. Leave me a comment below as always.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.