In many ways, the Ford Bronco is a good old-fashioned off-roader. It's even available with a manual transmission, just like the old days. Or, it was, until Ford decided it had to pause production of its three-pedal variants.
As covered by Jalopnik, Ford has curtailed production of manual Bronco models along with the Base and Everglades trim levels. The reasoning is simple, as Ford needs to refit its Michigan Assembly Plant to accomodate the upcoming new-generation Ford Ranger. According to Ford representatives, the "difficult decision" to pause production was made to "maximize commonality on the assembly line" for the new Ranger and Bronco variants.
The mid-sized truck is set to be an important model for the company, so it's understandable that a subset of Bronco production would be paused to make way for the new model. Regardless, the decision will come as a disappointment to anyone eyeing off a 7-speed, three-pedal Bronco this year. Potential customers are advised to check dealers for stock, as it will not be taking new orders of the affected models at this time.
It's important to remember that it's a pause in production, not a death certificate for manual Bronco models. The pause is expected to last for the rest of the 2023 model year. Production for 2024 models should see a return, though Ford is yet to confirm an exact timeline for the manual's resurrection.
As beloved as the Bronco is, it's production run thus far has been beleagured with issues. The double whammy of roof issues and the chip shortage bit hard. That, combined with the model's popularity, led to high markups due to limited supply.
Since then, we've seen things stabilize as Ford found its feet with the off-roader. Regardless, manual models will likely be selling for a small premium in the short term, until Ford gets the lines back up and running.
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