The Escape-Based Ford Bronco Sport Outsold the Actual Escape in September
Given the current state of auto manufacturing, however, there’s more to this story than just the final sales of each SUV.
The Bronco Sport, commonly referred to as the baby Bronco, the Bronco Lite, or whatever else, it's just a hair controversial. Styled as a trendy off-road vehicle, it shares its "C2" platform with the more conventional Escape, which many say limits its off-road potential. Ford, of course, offers some strong defense against this claim, but regardless of this, one thing is for sure; it just outsold its platform partner in September after just a year on sale.
The news comes with the release of Ford's September 2021 sales report, which highlights not only the company's struggle with the ongoing chip shortage—total sales are down 17.7 percent compared to September 2020—but also the strength of the Bronco brand. The current Escape, on the market since 2019, sold a total of 11,462 units. The Bronco Sport sold 11,686, a difference of 224 SUVs.
Now, before we continue it's worth noting some context. There have been closures due to the chip shortage at both the Louisville, Kentucky assembly plant where the Escape is made, and the Hermosillo, Mexico, plant where the Bronco Sport is made. It's entirely possible that these sales results occurred independent of demand for one or the other vehicle, and were decided mostly by supply.
To that point, sales of the Escape are down 31.8 percent as compared to September 2020. That may just be because people are souring on the vehicle overall, but it's unlikely seeing as Escape production has been hampered by supply chain issues. Likewise, if there were more Bronco Sports available on dealer lots due to higher production—or perhaps if production was prioritized—that definitely will have influenced the total sales as well. We've reached out to Ford to see if it has any comment on that, but we have yet to hear back.
It's also a small difference in vehicles sold—just two percent overall—and we don't know if this is even a trend yet. With a lead so thin, it's entirely possible that the Escape will take the lead again in October.
In any case, it's definitely not as simple as people preferring the aesthetic or capabilities of the Bronco Sport. Perhaps in normal times, we could draw that conclusion pretty safely. These are not normal times. We'll likely have to wait for the chip shortage to at least stabilize before we can make any serious claims about which C2 platform-based Ford SUV people prefer.
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