Ford OKs Dealers Selling ‘Mannequin’ Demo Models Thanks To Sky-High Demand: News

Dealers have been marking up Bronco Sports by thousands

Ford OKs Dealers Selling 'Mannequin' Demo Models Thanks To Sky-High Demand: News
Images: Ford

The Ford Bronco Sport is a victim of its own success — sales are strong, but…

Grab your Ford Bronco Sport demo model while you can! Ford has unsealed the “Mannequin Program,” and it has nothing to do with Kim Cattrall. Bummer. This alteration of the program simply allows dealerships to sell their one or two demo models. Keep in mind: this was forbidden in the past. In fact, back in January, a Florida dealership caught some flak after accidentally selling a Mannequin Program (demo) Ford Bronco Sport to a customer. While the situation has been resolved since, things were tense with the possibility of litigation hanging in the air.

The bottom line here is: Ford is permitting the sales of the demo models to make up for the massive demand of the Bronco Sport. Before, per a CarsDirect report, the automaker sent out some models as test drive models, so dealers always had a “baby Bronco” on hand for potential customers. Those vehicles needed to remain “in service” for 4 months or 4,000 miles, but in response to demand Ford is reportedly letting dealers sell these cars right away.

The all-new Bronco Sport offers available 29-inch all-terrain tires for better off-road performance. (Pre-production model pictured.)

Why is the Ford Bronco Sport so popular?

For those of you who don’t know, the Ford Bronco Sport is not related to its big (yet-to-go-into-production) brother – the Ford Bronco. The Bronco is based on a truck platform, and it competes directly against the Jeep Wrangler. On the other hand, the Ford Bronco Sport is based on a crossover platform (Ford Escape), and it’s a direct competitor to the Jeep Compass, and to some extent the Renegade. Ford’s ramping up production at its Hermosillo, Mexico plant, but it may be awhile before supply meets demand.

Just like Jeep, Ford built a vehicle that fills the rugged vibe of the big Bronco, while providing a less expensive, more logical, daily-driver option. We hear that the Bronco Sport is no slouch on dirt either; but our own tests to determine its off-road mettle are still a few weeks off.