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Auto blogFri, 12 Apr 2013
The current Ford Explorer is sold in more than 64 countries, and this three-row vehicle continues to grow in popularity worldwide. To keep up with demand, Ford began producing the Explorer at Ford Sollers Elabuga Assembly Plant in Tatarstan, Russia, a joint venture facility. This partnership will build Russian-market Explorers only, and production of export vehicles not destined for Russian buyers will continue to be built at Ford's assembly plant in Chicago.
Before this plant went online, Ford would ship Explorers to Russia (and other regions around the world) as partially assembled knock-down units where final assembly would eventually take place. While there is no indication as to how many Explorers Ford Sollers will build for Russia, Ford did add that exports of the SUV were up 65 percent last year (from 2011) accounting for more than 24,000 units.
Scroll down for a press release about the Russian Explorer as well as a video (bad music and all) showing the SUV being produced in Tatarstan.
There have been many great car commercials over the years, but is it possible to define the best? Well, Ad Week recently took a crack at it by rating the top commercials of the year by looking at their view counts on YouTube, but Auto Express took a more democratic approach by putting the decision to a vote. Just after Thanksgiving, Auto Express came up with a list of the 20 popular commercials, and it tasked its readers with choosing the winner for the best car ad of all time. The winner? Honda's 2003 commercial for its then-new European Accord titled "The Cog."
While the ad never aired in the US, most car people have surely seen the impressive Rube Goldberg-style spot. In fact, the only commercial on this list that we saw on US television was the Volkswagen ad "The Force," but many of the others have become viral videos, including transforming and dancing Citroën C4. Of the 19 other commercials that vied for the title of best ad of all time, only the Ford Puma "Steve McQueen" commercial gave Honda a run for its advertising money.
Scroll down to watch Auto Express' top five commercial in order and to check out a press release, then let us know some of your favorite car commercials in Comments.
Believe it or not, but new pinball machines are still being made. Chicago-based Stern Pinball still makes them and has found a niche selling modern machines to individual buyers and arcade distributors. For its latest cabinet, Stern partnered with Ford to create a pinball game that pays homage to the 50th anniversary of the Mustang, including the next generation. The new machine is being unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show on February 6 and goes on sale in March.
Stern is offering the machine in three variants. The pro-level machine is meant for arcades and public spaces and retails for $4,995. All of them come with background and cabinet art by Camilo Pardo, who designed the Ford GT, and Top Gear USA host Tanner Foust is the game's announcer. Depending on where players shoot the ball, they activate events that simulate drag racing, rallying, drifting and racing the Mustang, and hitting targets lets players shift the gears up and down.
An upgraded, premium table with added art will be added later for pinball machine collectors. The third model is a signed, special edition with art of the 1965 Mustang and 2015 Mustang on the machine and chrome and Mustang badges on the speaker grilles. Prices for these editions will be announced later.