Shares of Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) were moving higher again on Wednesday morning, on growing signs that the company's new Bronco SUV lineup is resonating strongly with consumers.
As of 10:30 a.m. EDT today, Ford's shares were up about 4.9% from Tuesday's closing price.
I'm sure most auto investors have heard the news by now, but in case you haven't: Ford's iconic rugged off-roader, the Bronco, is back.
In fact, as Ford revealed on Monday night, it's back in three different flavors: the "regular" Bronco, a Ranger-based SUV offered in two- and four-door versions, and a smaller Bronco Sport that shares its basic architecture with the Ford Escape.
It's not hard to divine Ford's business strategy here: The company wants a piece of the fat profits that SUV brands like Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' (NYSE: FCAU) Jeep have been generating in recent years. (Just like their 1960s namesakes, the big Broncos are clearly aimed directly at the turf dominated by Jeep's iconic Wrangler, while the Bronco Sport is Ford's alternative to unibody off-roaders like the Jeep Compass and Cherokee.)
Ford's original plan for the Bronco's launch, which included debuts at two U.S. auto shows, had to be reworked amid the coronavirus pandemic. But Ford's Plan B, an online reveal with Tesla-inspired $100 "reservations" opening immediately, seems to have generated plenty of interest: The company said on Tuesday morning that its top-of-the-line "First Edition" Broncos, limited to 3,500 examples, were already sold out, and demand for the Bronco's other trims has been strong.
For comparison, Fiat Chrysler sold about 56,500 Wranglers last quarter, or an average of roughly 18,800 per month. If Ford can move 10,000 Broncos a month in the U.S. in the off-roader's first year back in the lineup, it'll be doing well.
Auto investors are looking ahead to Ford's second-quarter earnings report for an update on the business. Management's guidance told us to expect a huge loss for the second quarter as the company worked to recover from pandemic-related shutdowns, but Ford's sales in the U.S. and China seemed to outperform expectations over the period.
Will Ford give us an upbeat earnings surprise? We'll find out when the Blue Oval reports after the market closes on July 30.
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