Kindred Motorworks delivers 1st customer vehicle

“This is, without question, the most exciting day in our company’s young history.”

Kindred Motorworks, the Bay Area producer of modernized vintage vehicles, celebrated a huge milestone as it delivered its first customer car, a Kindred Bronco Heritage Edition, to customer 001, Jeff Tsai, during a ceremony at the company’s Mare Island headquarters.

“This is, without question, the most exciting day in our company’s young history,” said Kindred Motorworks founder and CEO, Rob Howard. “In under two years, we’ve evolved from an idea inspired by the complexities of restoring a classic vehicle to a fully realized company that is now producing and delivering turnkey, fully modernized vintage vehicles to customers like Jeff.”

The start of production and early delivery of the first customer vehicle are testament to the rapid growth Kindred Motorworks as seen as a company in 2023. Since the start of the year, the production team’s headcount has grown 300%.

A Unique and Memorable Customer Experience
Part of what sets Kindred Motorworks apart is the level of involvement its customers have in the creation of their vehicles. As part of Kindred’s signature Customer Work Day experience, Jeff Tsai spent a day at Mare Island to meet with the Kindred team, tour the facility, perform hands-on work on his Bronco, and ended the visit with a test drive in another upcoming Kindred model.

“It’s always exciting, that day you pick up a new car, but this is different. It’s the culmination of a unique and exhilarating journey for me,” said Jeff Tsai. “Kindred Motorworks developed an experience for new owners that really made me feel like I’m a part of the company—not just a customer. Being able to come to Mare Island, collaborate with the team, and work on my own car as it was being built left me feeling fully invested in what’s happening here. I’m proud to be their first customer, and I couldn’t be happier with my Kindred Bronco.”

Kindred Motorworks Production Now Ongoing
Manufacturing at Kindred’s Mare Island facility continues, with several Kindred Broncos currently moving through the vehicle assembly process, and an active pipeline of vehicles waiting for their build slots to open up as vehicles are completed.

Additional customer deliveries are slated through the end of 2023, and production will continue to scale through 2024.

“Delivering Jeff’s Bronco is a huge milestone for the entire team bringing cars back to life here at Mare Island,” said John McGinn, Kindred Motorworks’ Director of Production. “To be part of the festivities today is a thrill and it’s something we’ll all remember—but it’s also just the beginning. We’re up and running on the manufacturing side and we’re eager to create these special cars for the customers who have trusted us with that responsibility.”

Since the beginning of the year, 20 donor Broncos have been torn down onsite at Mare Island. Currently, it takes approximately 1,700 labor hours to take a vehicle from the donor-vehicle “Boneyard” at Mare Island and transform it into a fully finished customer vehicle. As production continues to ramp through 2024, efficiency targets will increase as build times get faster and production capacity grows accordingly.

By the end of this year, Kindred will have started production on 13 Broncos, with four finished vehicles delivered to customers, one retained by Kindred internally as its new marketing vehicle, with the remaining eight customers carrying over as works in progress that will be delivered to customers in 2024.

Kindred Blueprint Methodology Delivers Consistent Quality and Results
Kindred’s proprietary Blueprint approach to modernizing vintage vehicles was designed to facilitate vehicle construction with consistent quality at rate. At the time of the first Bronco delivery, Kindred has documented over 400 Bronco build tasks in detail, including standardized process work instructions, quality-inspection standards, and technical specs.

The Blueprint, which continues to evolve as production ramps and scales, ensures that Kindred’s Mare Island production staff performs these processes to identical standards for each build. This approach is a unique Kindred Motorworks advantage, as many other restomod projects are one-off and highly custom in nature, resulting in not only inconsistent quality, but also much higher prices for the customer.

The Blueprint’s necessary process documentation has also informed Kindred’s shop layout and process flow at Mare Island. The production floor in the shop has already evolved from single-stall build stations to a linear one-piece flow as the team continues to standardize and optimize the entire production process.

Kindred Bronco EV Development Comes Into Focus
As Kindred Motorworks enters this new phase, the design and development teams have turned their focus to the upcoming Kindred Bronco EV as conventionally powered Broncos move through the manufacturing process and into the hands of customers.

“With the V8-powered Broncos fully blueprinted and in production, we’re able to focus our attention on the Kindred Bronco EV, which our customers are very excited for,” said Rob Howard. “Our future at Kindred Motorworks is electric, as we’ve shown with our VW Bus and 3100 Pickup prototypes. We’re developing our electric Bronco from the ground up to ensure that it is every bit as capable and fun as the combustion models, no matter the terrain or environment.”

Kindred Motorworks will share more news about the Bronco EV’s development throughout 2024, with the prototype slated to debut in Q3.

For complete information on the Kindred Motorworks lineup and to place a pre-order, visit

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