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Ford goes for Puma – again

Lion heart: Ford released this sketch of the so-called Baby Bronco earlier this year. Now, the company has trademarked the Puma name.

Puma trademark registration could point to badge for Ford’s Baby Bronco

Ford logo16 Nov 2018

FORD appears to be preparing to resurrect the Puma badge, lodging a fresh global trademark application under that name for a future model that conceivably could be the upcoming compact SUV dubbed – in the absence of any official name – the Baby Bronco.
 
The company previously used the Puma name on a Fiesta-based small coupe made in Germany between 1997 and 2002, but as Ford is largely walking away from passenger cars, especially in North America, it is unlikely to be planning a new version of that slow-selling sportscar.
 
Lodged on October 26 by Ford Motor Company’s head office in Dearborn, Michigan, the trademark application specifically mentions “four-wheel drive vehicles and sports utility vehicles”.
 
For Australia, the application has been lodged with the Federal Government’s IP Australia.
 
Ford earlier this year confirmed that it was planning an off-road-focussed compact SUV, showing a sketch of the car in a briefing about its future model strategy.
 
The vehicle will sit below the all-new Bronco that is also in the pipeline for launch in the next year or two. The Bronco will be based on the Australian-developed T6 platform that underpins the Ranger ute and related Everest SUV.
 
Like the Bronco, the Baby Bronco is expected to be a more hard-core off-roader than other Ford soft-roader SUVs such as the Escape/Kuga and EcoSport, and will likely target the market segment dominated by smaller Jeep models such as the Renegade Trailhawk.
 
Some American pundits have speculated that the Baby Bronco might be called Maverick, as that name has been trademarked in the US.
 
Maverick was used by Ford in Australia for re-badged Nissan GQ Patrols in the 1980s and 1990s.
 
However, the original 1984 trademark for Maverick in Australia has been withdrawn by Ford and not renewed, making it unlikely that the name will be used globally any time soon.
 
Speculation about the Baby Bronco reached fever pitch in the US media earlier this week when images of a Ford SUV – purportedly taken at a Ford dealer conference in Las Vegas – were published by Off-Road.com.
 
Some sections of the media speculated that the images were of the Bronco, while others suggested it looked smaller, and so could be of Bronco’s baby sibling. Ford was not saying.

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