Ford Sells 7-Millionth Explorer
Company Claims It’s “America’s Favorite SUV”
Yesterday, Ford announced that it had sold its 7-millionth Explorer, “sealing the vehicle’s position as America’s favorite SUV,” according to the company. To commemorate the occasion, Ford created a simple infographic that illustrates the Explorer’s various sales milestones, divided by generation.
The Explorer, which was introduced in the United States for the 1991 model year, is often credited for igniting America’s love affair with the utility vehicle. Sold in five generations since then, the Explorer has been a consistently strong seller in Ford’s lineup, often breaking into yearly best-selling vehicle lists.
The original Explorer was based on the Ford Ranger pickup and had a rather truck-like ride, but while many SUVs of the time were extremely utilitarian, the Explorer offered many comfort and convenience items, like power leather seating, cruise control, and automatic headlights. This made the Explorer a popular minivan alternative for families. Subsequent generations offered more refinements that secured the Explorer’s position as the SUV of choice for many Americans, including an optional V-8 in 1996 and standard independent rear suspension in 2002.
The fifth-generation Explorer did an abrupt about-face for 2011 when it ditched its truck underpinnings and optional V-8 engine for a unibody design powered by V-6 engines, and in 2012, for the first time ever, the Explorer was available with a four-cylinder: Ford’s 2.0L EcoBoost producing 240 hp. Additionally, the Explorer came standard with front-wheel drive (rather than rear-wheel drive), making the newest model more of a large crossover than a true SUV. However, the newest Explorer has sold very well, offering more efficiency and power than ever while still offering plenty of space for families.
We’ll see an updated 2016 Explorer at the Los Angeles Auto Show this month, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated. We’re sure the new model will only help keep the Explorer near the top of the midsize SUV sales charts.