If you squint hard enough at the above press photo, you’ll notice that the name Wrangler appears on the outside sidewall of the tires, the brand name of Goodyear’s line of tires that will come equipped on some versions of the 2021 Ford Bronco. That name will not be there when the cars ship, Ford said this week, because Jeep.
Motor1.com reported yesterday that Wrangler would instead appear on the inside sidewall, because Ford couldn’t abide possibly reminding people that a competitor to the Bronco exists.
Ford confirmed this to Motor1.com, with spokesman Sam Schembari saying, “[The Wrangler name] will be removed from the Goodyear’s side wall on the outboard side. Bronco Customers will not see it unless their tires are off the vehicle and the inboard side is visible.”
Why not strip the word off entirely? According to Schembari, it’s because the Wrangler name is “still part of [Goodyear’s] aftermarket branding.”
Some trims of the 2021 Ford Bronco will ship with Goodyear’s Wrangler, while others will use Bridgestone, General, and BFGoodrich tires. Notably, the 35-inch tires, which Ford says are “segment-first,” will be Goodyear. The Goodyears will go on the top-level Sasquatch, Wildtrak, and First Edition trims, and optional on Badlands.
Goodyear’s Wrangler series of tires have been around for decades, but this is one of those branding things that feels both entirely inconsequential and to be expected, since it’s the kind of thing that would probably be just fine left as is but also the kind of thing that would require too many silly explanations.
Now if only Bridgestone decided to equip the Bronco with its new line of quality tires named Jeep, if General decided now was the time to roll out its new Cherokee line, and if BFGoodrich decided this was the perfect opportunity to introduce its line of Gladiator-named rubber, we would really be getting somewhere.