The 2021 Ford Bronco unveiling, happening on Monday, July 13, at 8 p.m., will be the occasion for viewing parties around the country, both online and at dealerships.
Dealerships will show off vintage Broncos and serve food while customers watch the event unfold on big screens.
Car and Driver was assured by two dealerships we talked to that they will follow social distancing rules during the events.
The Bronco is coming. After snippets of news, copious leaks, and a barrage of tiled Instagram posts, Ford will finally show the world its updated off-road beast set to challenge the Jeep Wrangler. People are hyped and Ford is doing its best to make sure that the SUV is in our thoughts and dreams until it pulls the sheet off a Bronco during an event on Monday night starting at 8 p.m. ET.
For some dealerships and enthusiasts, this event is a long time in the making ,and to mark the occasion they're hosting viewing parties—small gatherings, under the circumstances, but ones that will be part nostalgia, part looking towards the future, and of course, part sales event.
In the Kansas City, Missouri, suburb of Olathe, Kansas, Olathe Ford is hosting a viewing party with food trucks, a chance to win prizes, and, of course, classic Broncos. "We've done some events in the past and thought it would be cool to get a bunch of like-minded car geeks to come out and watch the reveal," Matt Stowell, new-vehicle sales director, told Car and Driver.
The dealership will set up a projector with a 15-foot screen. It's likely to be showing the live stream instead of one of the three television broadcasts the automaker will have on National Geographic, ESPN, and ABC.
Stowell expects that they'll be hosting between 60 and 80 attendees. The dealership will have the event in its service area, where it says there will be plenty of space for social distancing and the doors will be open for ventilation. The crowd is expected to be excited. Stowell is.
"I've been selling Fords for 18 years and this is the first car that you're super, super excited about. When they redid the Mustang in 2005, I mean that was something, but we had a Mustang already," Stowell said. "It's a game changer for Ford."
On the West Coast in Sandy, Oregon, about 45 minutes east of Portland, Suburban Ford is holding a viewing party, too. As in Olathe, the dealership will have a collection of old Broncos including a customized one from owner Jerry Jaksich sitting in front of the dealership. "We just love the Bronco and thought, why not make a thing out of it? Why not have some fun with it? Especially with everything going on in the world," Dominick de Landro, internet marketing manager for the dealership, told C/D.
The dealership will place a large TV in the showroom and will make sure attendees stay socially distanced. Food will be served, and the dealership is expecting enthusiasts to arrive with their own vintage and tricked-out Broncos.
The president of the dealership, Erinn Sowle, said they will definitely be cognizant of social distancing and wearing masks. "We want to make everyone feel as comfortable as we can."
Both dealerships will be ready to start taking reservations as soon as the event is over. For now, there will be a $100 refundable deposit for anyone interested in securing one of the three Broncos that will be unveiled.
On the internet, Bronco enthusiast site Bronco Nation will host a reveal watch party live-streamed event on its social channels that will feature exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive interviews. Chief outdoor officer (real title) of Bronco Nation Ben Dawson told C/D that it will be talking to Ford VIPs, "people that were heavily involved with bringing the brand and the product to life, as well as behind the scenes from the standpoint of how did this vehicle come about."
The site states it’s an "independent enthusiast community and the first to be nationally recognized and certified by Ford." It also happens to have a signup page for more information on Ford's upcoming "Off-Roadeo" events that'll take place in 2021 at four locations around the country. The two-day events will give the new owners of Broncos the chance to actually do some off-roading in the vehicle. There are no details on price, locations, or dates beyond sometime in 2021.
As for delivery events, with the pandemic making long-term planning difficult, dealerships will likely just rely on the buzz they get from having a Bronco in their showrooms ahead of customer deliveries. After that, any parties will likely be held in the houses of those who take delivery of their shiny new Bronco.
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