Ford's new Bronco is all set to be released on July 9th, 2020. If that date looks a little familiar, it might be because it's The Juice's birthday. O.J. Simpson was best-known for being a football player and a spokesman, but that all changed in 1994 when he was accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. He and his friend and former teammate Al Cowlings led Los Angeles police on a 2-hour slow speed chase in his infamous white Bronco in one of the most televised moments in history. Millions tuned in to watch Simpson take off on June 17th, 1994.
The white Bronco is synonymous with O.J. Simpson, but Ford doesn't think so. The new 2021 Bronco was supposed to debut in the spring, but it was not able to happen due to current events, so the July 9th date was chosen. Jiyan Cadiz, a spokesman for Ford Motor, said the "date is purely coincidental." Mike Levine, Ford North America product communications manager, says, "The rescheduled date was following the July 4 holiday. It's purely coincidental. Not intentional." Ford apparently did not notice that it was Simpson's birthday until after they made the announcement.
As of this writing, Ford has no plans to switch the new Bronco release date around, even as people on social media call them out for being insensitive to the memories of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the two counts of murder, but he later lost a civil trial. Simpson had to pay out millions of dollars after losing the civil case and then things got even weirder. He went on to serve nine years in prison after a Las Vegas kidnapping and armed robbery.
It has been estimated that 95 million people watched O.J. Simpson cruise down the 405 freeway in California. For that 2 hours of time, Simpson and his white Bronco were the focus of the world, which isn't really the best free publicity that Ford could have received. They ended up discontinuing the Bronco back in 1996 after demand for two-door SUVs declined. For the 1997 model year, Ford replaced the Bronco with the Ford Expedition, a four-door SUV based on the F-150.
Ford believes that the 2021 Bronco will live up to its classic reputation, minus the O.J. Simpson connections. The new Bronco is expected to compete against Fiat Chrysler's Jeep brand. With the release date falling on Simpson's birthday, it seems that Ford won't ever really be able to escape their default relationship with the former athlete. Whatever the case may be, the company is moving forward, but don't expect to see Simpson in a commercial endorsing the brand. While it's 2020 and that seems like something that could easily happen, Ford more than likely has better sense than that. You can check out Ford's Twitter announcement above.