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Ford Backs SUV Push With All-New 2020 Explorer

"A beacon for the future."

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.10, 2019

Ford executives are joined by the development team at the 2020 Ford Explorer debut.

From the pint-sized EcoSport up to the yacht-like Expedition, a visit to a Ford showroom reveals an array of utility vehicles wearing the Blue Oval badge, but none carries the gravitas of the Ford Explorer. Since the original rolled out for the 1991 model-year, the Detroit automaker has sold more than 7.7 million of them, making it the best-selling SUV in automotive history.

No wonder, then, that the automaker took over the Ford family-owned Ford Field stadium in downtown Detroit for the first public showing of the all-new 2020 Explorer which will be reaching U.S. showrooms a few months from now.  “This vehicle is a beacon for the future” of Ford, said Executive Vice President Jim Farley, as the first of the new SUVs rolled out onto the field.

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Starting at $33,000, a modest $400 bump up from the outgoing model, the fourth-generation Ford Explorer is more than just a modest update. Practically everything is new, as the old line goes, from the ground up, starting with a new rear-wheel-drive platform that will be shared with an assortment of other Ford products going forward, starting with the also-new Lincoln Aviator that generated its own buzz during a preview at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month.

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Ford Issues Recalls for More Than 38K Vehicles

Actions cover sport-utilities and pickups.

by Michael Strong on Nov.16, 2018

The Expedition is part of the recall of more than 37,000 large SUVs.

Ford Motor Co. is recalling more than 38,000 SUVs and pickups as part of four individual recalls covering problems involving seats, airbags, fuel system components and transmissions.

The largest is for 2018 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigators. The action covers large utes that have second row center bench seats. In that instance, the seats could be missing reinforcement brackets in the seat track assembly.

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If not properly secured, the rear seat may come loose. As of this moment, the company is unaware of any incidents or injuries. There are approximately 37,801 vehicles in North America, with 34,946 in the United States and federalized territories, 1,900 in Canada and 955 in Mexico. (more…)

Chevy Has Big Plans for Bigger Traverse

GM’s largest brand wants to boost sales, drive up transaction prices.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Aug.09, 2017

The Chevrolet Traverse tied with its siblings, the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave, as the most American vehicle on the market in a recent study.

When Chevrolet unveiled the all-new 2018 Traverse earlier this year, it revealed a three-row ute that is larger in just about every dimension. The question is whether it will grow larger in the column that matters most to Chevy’s bookkeepers.

Compared to the midsize SUV segments dominant nameplates, like the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer, the Traverse has been a relative afterthought. But Chevy is hoping that the significant upgrades it’s making will sharply boost demand in the coming year, especially at a time when utility vehicles continue to gain momentum even as the overall U.S. automotive market slips into the doldrums after three years of record sales.

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Officials with General Motors are so confident about the new model, in fact, that they’re studying ways to squeeze more utes out of the Lansing, Michigan plant Traverse shares with midsize offerings from the Buick and GMC brands, the brand’s marketing chief told TheDetroitBureau.com during a briefing on the all-new 2018 model.

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Ford to Repair Police Interceptor Versions of the Explorer SUV

Feds upgrade probe of 1.33 mil civilian Ford Explorers - carbon monoxide leaks could be problem.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jul.31, 2017

K9 officer Keegan helped pull the covers off the Ford Explorer Police Interceptor.

Ford Motor Co. says it will repair police versions of the company’s popular Ford Explorer SUVs because of a problem that could make it possible for deadly carbon monoxide to leak into the cabin.

The announcement comes as the city of Austin, Texas decided to pull 400 Explorers from its police fleet because of the problem. Separately, federal regulators have upgraded a probe into 1.33 million civilian versions of the Ford Explorer because of reports of exhaust odors entering the cabin. There have been at least three reported crashes involving carbon monoxide exposure.

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“This is my family,” Austin’s interim police chief Brian Manley said when announcing the decision to idle the city’s police Explorer models. “I stand here confident that we’re making the right decision today based on what we know with the carbon monoxide exposure issue that we’ve had and the impacts that it has had on our workforce.”

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SUVs Could Soon Make Up Half U.S. New Vehicle Market

Prices also on rise as "customers choose more well-equipped vehicles."

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Apr.11, 2017

Ford is pushing more luxury and tech features into the Explorer Platinum Edition for 2018.

Utility vehicles now account for 40% of the American market – and a disproportionate share of its profits – but demand is likely to keep growing and could soon reach 50% before leveling off, said a senior Ford Motor Co. executive ahead of this week’s New York International Auto Show, where a number of new SUVs and CUVs will make their debut.

Utes have become the hottest segment in the industry, in part because carmakers continue to find ways to surprise and delight customers with all manner of new designs and features, said Mark LaNeve, Ford’s head of sales, service and marketing. And where classic SUVs once required owners to “sacrifice” things like fuel economy and on-road comfort, today’s utes are nearly as efficient and comfortable as conventional sedans and coupes.

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As a result, “We don’t see (the SUV sales boom) stopping,” said LaNeve, as Ford revealed two new versions of its popular Explorer SUV and announced plans to update the long-neglected Expedition model for the 2018 model-year.

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Record Number of New Products Set to Debut at LA Auto Show

More than 30 world intros, up to 60 models to make North American debut.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.19, 2014

The new Shelby GT350 Mustang may not be the only Shelby American-Ford Motor Co. collaboration for the new generation Mustang.

It’s going to be a busy week for automotive scribes hoping to keep up with all the news coming out of the Los Angeles Auto Show – and that means great news for car shoppers looking for the latest and greatest offerings.

Based on advance announcements, industry scuttlebutt and the LA show’s latest media schedule, there look to be at least 30 world introductions at the L.A. Convention Center, with twice that many new models on display for the first time in North America if you include those recently shown at the Paris Motor Show and elsewhere.

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The Tinseltown gathering will underscore the increasing diversity of the American automotive market, with everything from battery-cars to high-performance vehicles, entry-level crossovers to ultra-exclusive sedans. If anything, this week’s L.A. Auto Show breaks with recent history. In recent years there has been an emphasis on green machines. This time around, there’s a big push for performance and luxury. (more…)

Ford Aims Higher with New 2015 Explorer

New top-line Platinum edition joins SUV line-up.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.19, 2014

The 2015 Ford Explorer Platinum moves the midsize utility vehicle up another notch in the price spectrum.

It’s been the best-selling SUV in the American market for 24 years, and it’s the single-largest export model the maker produces in the U.S., but Ford isn’t satisfied with success. It hopes to gain even more ground over its competitors with the mid-cycle update of its midsize Explorer utility vehicle.

Ford has a number of changes planned for the 2015 Explorer, including some modest exterior tweaks, an assortment of new features, a new EcoBoost engine and an all-new Platinum model that it is aiming at the sort of buyers who might otherwise move to luxury competitors such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

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Ford is counting on the updated Explorer to deliver strong results around the world. “This vehicle has become extremely critical for us,” stressed the automaker’s global marketing chief Jim Farley during a background briefing prior to the opening of this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

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Explorer Lays Claim to “Best” Title…for Soccer Moms

Kiplinger’s “Best of” list has just one American-made vehicle.

by Michael Strong on Nov.14, 2014

The Ford Explorer was Kiplinger's choice for "Best for Soccer Moms (and Dads)."

With the sales of new cars, trucks, SUVs and crossovers going like gangbusters for most of 2014, it means a lot people are making a lot of selections about what type of vehicle best suits their needs.

Fortunately, the folks at Kiplinger’s recently put out their 2014 annual “Best” List, which gives potential buyers some guidance about what vehicle they should consider buying based on their lifestyles.

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The list has one very noticeable quirk: only one American-made vehicle – the 2014 Ford Explorer – made the list. Not only that, it’s not a category that many would find complimentary: Best for Soccer Moms (and Dads). (more…)

Ford Introducing 2016 Explorer at L.A. Auto Show

Maker teasing “#ExploreMore” campaign on social media.

by Michael Strong on Oct.29, 2014

Ford Explorer sales are up 8.7% for the year. The maker is going to debut the 2016 model at the L.A. Auto Show.

Ford is ready to celebrate another special anniversary with a new vehicle. The maker is marking the 25th anniversary of the Ford Explorer with a new 2016 model it will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month.

As part of the launch, Ford will debut an “#ExploreMore” digital teaser campaign on social media. The Explorer wasn’t the first midsize sport-utility vehicle in the U.S., however, it is the best-selling one. Since its introduction, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker has sold nearly 7 million Explorers.

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Sales this year are up as Ford has sold more than 158,000 Explorers through the first nine months of 2014, up 8.7%. (more…)

New Explorer? Everest Concept Has Tongues Wagging

Seven-passenger SUV designed for global markets.

by Michael Strong on Mar.26, 2014

The Ford Everest Concept has people wondering if it could be a replacement for the Explorer in the U.S.

Is change in the wind for the Ford Explorer? Many are wondering after getting a look at its latest concept, the Everest.

On display at the 35th annual Bangkok International Motor Show, the Everest concept is a large, truck-based, seven-passenger SUV. Adding fuel to the “is it the next Explorer” fire is that it’s been cleared for production outside the U.S. It will be built in Thailand and sold in the maker’s Asian markets as well as Australia.

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“The Everest concept represents out vision of a global Ford vehicle with regional heritage that will allow customers to take on the world,” the maker said in a statement. “(It is a) bold new direction that we envision for a midsize, seven-seat SUV.” (more…)