NEW YORK –Motor Co. President and CEO Alan Mullaly says the all-new ’11 Explorer will be exported to 90 countries, but not to China, at least initially.
Mullaly took part here in one of nine North American extravaganza'ssimultaneously staged to provide the public with its first reveal of the Explorer this week. He also appeared on NBC's Today Show to lift the curtain on the car-based utility-vehicle for a national TV audience.
“We finally have a world car in the Explorer,” Mullaly says. However, he declines to say exactly when the vehicle will debut in the fast-growing Chinese market, hinting only that it will be “sooner, rather than later.”
Ford predicts the ’11 Explorer will be the most-exported model from North America, with the top markets, in addition to Canada and Mexico, to include the Middle East, Russia and Japan, even though there will not be a right-hand-drive model.
The new Explorer, which goes on sale in North America this winter, will be available in three trim levels with a choice of either a 237-hp EcoBoost 4-cyl. engine or a 3.5L 290-hp V-6. Julie Levine, an Explorer program manager, forecasts 80% of buyers will select the V-6.
About 50 prototypes of the new Explorer have been assembled at Ford's Chicago plant for internal testing and validation.
However, Levine declines to say when Job One is scheduled. While she says the new model will go on sale “this winter,” she does not specify whether that will occur before the end of 2010.
The Explorer is built on the same platform as the Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS and Volvo S80, S60, XC60, V70.
Levine says Ford has modified the architecture, which it calls its global D platform, for the Explorer.