Ford Motor Co.'s Bronco replacement aimed at General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon is scheduled to move into production next July, a Ford insider tells WAW.

Called the Expedition, the new sport/utility vehicle (SUV) will be derived from Ford's new F-series fun-size pickups, which debut in January as 1997 models. Production of a luxury version, the Lincoln Navigator, "will follow just after the Expedition launch," says the Ford source.

Meantime, yet another new Ford SUV -- the Mercury Mountaineer spun off the Ford Explorer compact SUV platform -- is expected to reach dealerships during the first quarter of 1996.

Ford is carrying over the old, higher GVW F-250 and F-350 F-series trucks as it phases in the F-150 pickups. It's understood the 250 will be changed to the new design in summer 1996, with the 350 coming by next fall.

The 250 will feature an "air ride rear suspension for some serious trailer towing," he says, adding that Ford is aiming for 13,500 GVW.