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Ford Motor Co. is delaying the reveal of its highly anticipated off-road Bronco SUV amid the spreading coronavirus, the Dearborn automaker said Friday.

"We have postponed it, and it will be rescheduled as soon as possible," spokesman Mark Truby said on a conference call.

The launch of the reborn version of the storied nameplate after a 25-year hiatus has been touted by executives as an expected boon for the automaker to compete in the off-road sector currently dominated by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Jeep Wrangler SUV.

Media events scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday have been postponed, as Ford announces it is permitting workers performing functions that are not "business critical" to work from home.

Business-critical, however, does include certain positions to "keep product programs on time," Truby said. The Bronco is scheduled to launch in early 2021, with a smaller version expected to begin production before the end of this year.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble

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