Ford Motor Company has rescheduled plans to reveal the newest model of the Bronco SUV amid comments that pointed out the connection between the vehicle and a figure that brought it a lot of attention: O.J. Simpson.
Simpson was a passenger of a 1993 Ford Bronco during a 50-mile police pursuit in 1994 that attained widespread attention.
After Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ron Goldman, were found killed, law enforcement charged Simpson with the murders and arranged a deal with his lawyer in which he was to turn himself in. Instead, Simpson and his friend, the owner of the white Bronco, fled the area and traveled up an interstate highway.
Simpson ultimately surrendered and was later acquitted of the two murder charges.
He will turn 73 on July 9 — the same day Ford planned to unveil the new model of the Bronco. It will be the first new Bronco model since 1996.
Ford officials said the company originally planned to reveal the new model this spring, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed those plans.
Mike Levine, the product communications manager of Ford North America, told the Detroit Free Press that the connection between Simpson’s birthday and the July 9 Bronco reveal was “purely coincidental.”
But Levine said last week that despite the coincidence, the company would still debut the SUV on that date.
“My first reaction was, ‘Are you kidding me? This is funny?’” said Tanya Brown, the sister of Nicole Simpson. “I just don’t know if it’s a good marketing twist,” she told the Detroit Free Press, noting that she wondered if the move was on purpose.
Karl Brauer, an executive publisher at Kelley Blue Book, said he genuinely didn’t think Ford meant to stir up comments about Simpson in tandem with the release of the new car.
“It’s likely Ford didn’t realize the timing of the Bronco’s debut, as that aspect of the Bronco’s history is not one I imagine Ford celebrating,” he told the Detroit Free Press. “Unfortunately, unless Ford changes the date, it will be the lede, or at least a reference point, in every Bronco debut story.”
Mark Truby, Ford’s vice president of communications, followed up on Friday with a change of plans, announcing the reveal will now take place on July 13.
Truby reiterated the stance that Ford’s July 9 plans “unintentionally coincided” with O.J. Simpson’s birthday.
Dean & Rog Mornings
Def Leppard / Journey / Steve Miller Band at Minute Maid Park
Dean & Rog’s Thousand Dollar Minute
Winning Weekend: Enter To Win Tickets To See REO Speedwagon LIVE
Best Excuse To Get Out Of A Bad Date!
Winning Weekend!! Win Tickets To See Santana LIVE August 17
Houston Braces for Hard Freeze: Arctic Blast May Bring Temp Down To The 20s