As vehicle makers add model-based sub-brands, the Chevrolet Corvette could be next, says GlobalData

Following the news that Ford is to revive the Bronco nameplate for a rugged lifestyle sub-brand of 4×4 sport utility vehicles (SUVs);

Mike Vousden, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“Ford is leaning into a nostalgia factor with the launch of its latest range of SUVs, reviving the iconic Bronco name that lasted from the 1960s through the mid-1990s. Unlike its iconic predecessor, the next Bronco will also launch as a new sub-brand for the company, echoing the company’s recent decision to tie its new electric Mach-E model in with the Mustang muscle car brand.

“The new sub-brand will add further credence to speculation that some other iconic models could get turned into sub-brands in their own right. A strong potential contender for this process is the Corvette – Chevrolet’s halo performance car. It has tremendous brand cache but, as a two-seat sports car, will never sell in the kind of numbers a more conventional bodystyle variant would. However, if Chevrolet built a Corvette SUV, that model would benefit from the brand recognition brought by the name while being positioned in a more profitable segment.

“While the Bronco’s design is unquestionably modern, it captures something of its rugged predecessor with bluff surfaces, squared bodywork and upright proportions – a notable departure from many of today’s SUVs that are becoming more car-like with curved bodywork and lower ride heights. This helps differentiate the Bronco from the mass of SUV models and ‘crossovers’ launched in the last five years.”

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