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Ford decides not to unveil the new Bronco SUVs on O.J. Simpson's birthday

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O.J. Simpson arrives for his parole hearing at Lovelock Correctional Centre in Lovelock, Nevada, U.S. July 20, 2017.

Jason Bean | Reuters

Ford Motor is delaying the unveiling of its highly anticipated Bronco SUV lineup so it will not coincide with O.J. Simpson’s birthday.

Ford communications chief Mark Truby tweeted on Friday that the company will move the debut to July 13.  

“UPDATE: The reveal of the all-new Ford Bronco lineup will now happen on Monday, July 13. The previous targeted date of July 9 unintentionally coincided with O.J. Simpson’s birthday. We wanted to be sensitive and respectful of this concern,” Truby wrote.

Ford previously said the timing of the unveiling was “purely coincidental.”  Ford was expected to unveil the vehicle earlier this spring but postponed the event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The date change comes after the Detroit Free Press reported that two local Union Auto Workers leaders representing Ford workers voiced concerns about the vehicle debuting on Simpson’s birthday. The family of Simpson’s deceased wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, also voiced concern.

The former football star, who is turning 73, was in a 1993 Ford Bronco during his infamous slow-speed car chase after the killing of his wife and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1994.

Simpson, who was charged but acquitted of murder, was a passenger in the white SUV as friend and former teammate Al Cowlings drove the vehicle on the I-405 highway with Los Angeles police in pursuit. Millions of people tuned in to watch the chase on June 17, 1994.

The debut of the new Bronco has been anticipated for years. Ford initially confirmed its return in January 2017.

Ford executives have promised the Bronco will live up to its reputation as a classic off-road SUV, which returns for the first time since 1996. The 2021 Bronco is expected to be squarely positioned against Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep brand.

Ford is expected to offer a “Bronco family” of vehicles, reportedly including a smaller SUV.

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