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China-Built Ford Bronco: First Look On The Ground

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We interview Justin He who was on site for the Chinese-Made Ford Bronco unveiling. Might some of these features be coming to the American builds in 2025?
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It was nearly a year ago that Ford announced they would be building the Ford Bronco in China for the local market under their joint venture with Jangling Motor (JMC). Since then, details have been sparse.  And while they still are, Ford/JMC held a Bronco unveiling in China last week— at what seemed to be an appropriate Bronco Off-Rodeo themed event.

On hand was Justin He, an Instagram creator and avid off-roader from China that goes under the name @justinbuildcars.  We sat down with Justin to get his initial thoughts, findings, and photos.

Exterior

Branding

Perhaps most noticeably is the addition of “Ford” lettering to the Bronco grill. Justin explained this is because it’s a requirement in China that a manufacturer’s name/logo must be present on the front of the car.

chinese bronco grill lettering
Photo: Justin He and Liu Wei

Furthermore, the “Bronco” name is under the Ford Blue oval on the tailgate, along with additional Mandarin lettering under the bucking Bronco logo that translates to “Jiangling Ford”, the manufacturer in China.

chinese bronco tailgate
Photo: Justin He and Liu Wei
Trail Sight Delete & Fender Style

The China-built Ford Bronco removes the raised trail sights. Fenders utilize a square-style design, unlike the American round style.

chinese bronco badlands
Photo: Justin He and Liu Wei

Interior

This is where some U.S. Bronco owners might get some FOMO… 

chinese bronco interior
Photo: Ford China
Raptor Cluster

The Bronco Raptor dashboard cluster is standard on all models in China. (!!!)

bronco raptor cluster
Bronco Raptor cluster for reference; photo: Ford
Autonomous Driving?

The Chinese Broncos are built with Qualcomm’s 8155 computer chips— the high-performance digital cockpit platform used for intelligent and autonomous driving.

Currently, American-made Ford Broncos do not utilize this chip.  While no announcement has been made about Chinese Ford Broncos having autonomous features, imagine the off-road possibilities of autonomous driving while you… well, check out the next point below.

Drone Cockpit

The Chinese Bronco adds a really fun feature: drone control.  From the inside of your Bronco, you can use your dashboard touchscreen to fly a drone. More details about the feature are forthcoming, but Justin believes Ford worked with DJI for the integration.

Better Build Quality?

Justin has driven in every American-made Bronco model. One of the features that really stood out to him on the Chinese-made Bronco was the quality of interior finishing and assembly.  He said the China-built Bronco really shined here— with better assembly, tighter fitting elements, additional leather stitching on the dashboard and even topical graphics on the glovebox.

Justin explained that the Chinese auto market has a higher-than-normal expectation for interior quality.  He reasoned this might be why the interior felt much more refined than American-made models.

chinese bronco glovebox2 scaled
Photo: Ford China

Under the Hood

The Chinese-made Ford Bronco will only have one option for the engine to start: a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine locally manufactured by Changan Ford— Ford’s other joint venture in China. Details about the power are still forthcoming.

But, finally a win for America. At least for now….

Off-Road Packages

Justin said all models will be available with the “Big Tire Package,” which seems to be more or less a replica of the U.S. “Sasquatch” package.

Models

Justin claims Ford will be offering the following Bronco models in China: Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands, and Everglades. That leaves the Big Bend, Wildtrak, Heritage and Raptor models out for the initial launch.

Pricing and Availability

Justin was told Ford China will begin taking orders in March with delivery to begin in April.  Although, we still don’t have pricing confirmation.

Currently, Broncos imported from the U.S. start around $95,000 USD— a steep price for a growing Chinese market.  It’s believed that the Chinese-made Bronco should bring the starting price down to ~$40,000 USD.

chinese bronco skids
Photo: Justin He and Liu Wei
chinese bronco suspension
Photo: Justin He and Liu Wei
chinese bronco featured2
Photo: Ford China

A Strategic Shift

Having focused on manufacturing China-only products that are specifically catered to the local market, Ford CEO Jim Farley hinted on a strategy change in 2023 after falling sales in China.

When speaking with Justin about the Chinese auto market and growing off-road community, the introduction of a locally made Bronco could end up being a smart move by Ford.

According to Justin, Ford is still somewhat of an unfamiliar brand in China. And while Ford and the rest of American automotive manufacturers push towards EVs, Chinese manufacturers already own the EV market in China. Yet, gas-powered off-road vehicles and trucks seem to have some untapped potential. Therefore, if Ford expects to really make an impression in China, an off-road & truck angle could do the trick. 

Since 2020, the off-road automotive market has been exploding in China. This is partly due to the launch of Great Wall Motor Co.’s (GWM) Tank 300— the Chinese answer to the Jeep Wrangler.  At an affordable price point starting at $27,000 USD, the car launched with much success and great reviews. As Covid has pushed more people outside and as the Chinese middle class continues to grow, the varied landscape of China will attract more and more off-roaders. Ford hopes to become their rig of choice.

So, what do you think?  Might we see any of these features in a 2025 update for American builds?

Check out Justin’s video recap below.

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