Ford Bronco May Outperform Jeep Wrangler Due to CARB Regulations

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By Car Brand Experts

Regulations imposed by government entities have always influenced the automotive sector. From a US standpoint, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has frequently wielded significant influence in this realm. Presently, CARB regulations could potentially propel the Ford Bronco ahead of the Jeep Wrangler in terms of sales figures.

An article by The Drive previously highlighted that CARB requirements will mandate car manufacturers to sell a specific percentage of zero-emissions vehicles starting in 2026. Under these regulations, some companies, such as Ford, are evaluated based on their nationwide sales. In contrast, Stellantis is only evaluated on the vehicles it markets in the 14 states that comply with CARB stipulations. In anticipation of this shift, Stellantis has ceased the delivery of non-electric vehicles to dealers in these states, which has aided in boosting their sales figures.

Automotive News has reported that this practice is creating challenges for Jeep dealerships. Although customers can still place orders for non-hybrid Stellantis vehicles in CARB-compliant states, these vehicles are not readily available on dealer lots. This situation has left Jeep dealers with only hybrid Wrangler 4xe models in their inventory. For customers seeking a gasoline-powered vehicle promptly, Jeep dealers have nothing to offer, whereas Ford dealers do not face such constraints and can maintain healthy stocks of Broncos.

This unique circumstance could potentially aid the Bronco in surpassing the Wrangler in sales. Bronco sales surged by 38% to 32,430 units in the initial quarter of 2023. Conversely, Wrangler sales declined by 17 percent, dwindling to 37,971. With just a 6,000-car margin, the Bronco might soon claim the title of America’s top-selling convertible adventure SUV.

In a statement to Automotive News, analyst Ivan Drury from Edmunds emphasized the significance of inventory availability in driving sales. Drury remarked, “The vehicles on display effectively function as an attraction for potential customers,” while also mentioning, “Providing a diverse array of options for customers to peruse holds considerable value.”

Nonetheless, the situation isn’t entirely bleak for Jeep. Analyst Brian Moody from Kelley Blue Book pointed out that many customers are content with ordering vehicles directly from the factory. Nonetheless, this scenario translates into additional efforts for Jeep dealerships in CARB-regulated states. Explaining to a customer why the dealership lacks traditional gasoline vehicles readily available on site might pose challenges. Drury noted that this can present an unwelcome obstacle in the sales process.

Furthermore, the issue is anticipated to impact a wider spectrum of customers in the future. States like Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, and Virginia are all heading towards adopting CARB regulations soon. It’s worth noting that the regulations concerning the sales proportions of zero-emissions vehicles won’t be enforced until 2026. Stellantis is proactively taking steps to align with these regulations for strategic reasons.

Conclusively, the current scenario can be simplified. If you reside in a CARB-compliant state and desire a non-hybrid convertible off-road vehicle immediately, your preference would likely lead you to a Bronco. However, if you are open to waiting or considering a hybrid option, then a Jeep dealership will be delighted to assist you.

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