Ford Motor Company discontinued the Bronco in 1996 and switched to the Expedition as its landmark SUV. Now the automaker is bringing the popular vehicle back and is using a notable date to mark the occasion. Ford is revealing the new Bronco on O.J. Simpson's birthday.
Ford announced on Twitter that the company would unveil the Bronco on July 9, 2020. This day also marks Simpson's 73rd birthday, which sparked several comments on social media. The former Buffalo Bills running back infamously led the police on a chase from Orange County, California, to Brentwood on June 17, 1994, in a white Ford Bronco instead of facing charges for the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman. Simpson rode passenger while former teammate Al Cowlings drove during this slow-speed chase that captured the nation's attention.
"Will it come in white?" one Twitter user wrote in response to the news. Several people noticed that the release date is the same as Simpson's birthday and proclaimed that it couldn't be a coincidence. Several expressed anger about this move and said that Ford "lacks class" for this move. They said they would "boycott" Ford instead of supporting the highly-anticipated return of the Bronco.
Mike Levine, Ford North America's product communications manager, told the Detroit Free Press that the reveal date is "purely coincidental." The company will not be making any changes despite Simpson's history with the SUV and will move ahead with the original date. "We're going to reveal Bronco just like we said we would on July 9," Levine said.
Simpson's murder trial lasted 11 months. A jury ultimately found him innocent in October 1995. The former NFL running back later went to prison in 2008 on kidnapping and armed robbery charges in Las Vegas. He was released from the Nevada Department of Corrections in 2017 and remains on parole until 2022.
"Way back in 1966, Ford introduced its original SUV and cut a trail to the great outdoors that would be followed by generations of Americans," the Ford website says. "And now, Bronco is coming back, strapped with thrilling power and go-anywhere capability, uniquely equipped to carry true adventure seekers deep into the wild and untamed places their souls long to be." Both models of the new Ford Bronco will go on sale in 2021.