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Ford sells 7-millionth Explorer in America

Mon, 17 Nov 2014

Say what you will about the evolution of the Ford Explorer, from roofed Ranger to body-on-frame sport utility vehicle to unibody crossover – the bottom line is that it's been a tremendously successful model for Ford. In fact, the Blue Oval automaker has sold seven million Explorer models in the United States alone.

The milestone, marked nearly a quarter-century after the introduction of the original in 1990, comes on the eve of the introduction of a new Explorer at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week. We don't yet know how the new Explorer will shape up, but we're mere days away from finding out.

Now heading into its sixth generation, the Explorer has formed the basis of Ford's utility lineup for over two decades. The Explorer landed on the market right around the time that the Bronco was trailing off, predating the company's expansion into larger SUVs like the Expedition and Excursion and crossovers like the Escape, Edge and Flex.

Of the five iterations of Explorer to date, the second-generation model of the jellybean era was the most successful, selling some three million units in the United States – but was also the longest-serving, running from 1995 through 2001. Today, the Explorer is not only sold in over 100 markets around the world, but is also manufacturer locally in Venezuela and Russia for regional consumption, in addition to principal assembly in Chicago. See below for an infographic breaking down US sales by generation.

Nov 13, 2014 | Dearborn, Mich.
7 Million Adventures: Ford Explorer Marks U.S. Sales Milestone As New Model Ready for Reveal at Los Angeles Auto Show

- Ford Motor Company has sold 7 million Explorers in the United States since launch in 1990
- Explorer is sold in more than 100 markets across the globe; Ford expects to export 56,000 Explorers this year
- New 2016 Ford Explorer will be revealed Nov. 19 at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show and will go on sale summer 2015 – just in time to celebrate its 25th anniversary

Ford Motor Company announced the 7-millionth Explorer sold in the United States today, sealing the vehicle's position as America's favorite SUV. The iconic Explorer was launched in the U.S. market in 1990 becoming an instant hit. For nearly a quarter century, it has been the best-selling SUV in the country.

"Explorer changed the way the world thought about the family hauler – adventure became something you could put in your driveway," said Craig Patterson, Ford Explorer marketing manager. "Explorer helped the family vehicle become an emotional purchase rather than a necessity. It's no surprise it's been the best-selling sport utility vehicle for a quarter century."

Ford Explorer hit the market at a time when U.S. buyers were obsessed with minivans, offering family-hauling capability not found in most vehicles, and a design that captured the imagination of a generation. The V6-powered Explorer featured excellent interior space, and upscale Explorer models – the Eddie Bauer edition at launch and later, a Limited version – proved to be extremely popular.

Today, Explorer sales remain strong. Through the first 10 months of 2014, U.S. sales are up more than 6 percent compared to last year. Explorer is also proving successful outside of the United States, where it is now sold in more than 100 markets. Ford expects to export 56,000 Explorers from the Chicago Assembly Plant to markets globally this year.

Look for the new 2016 Ford Explorer to debut Nov. 19 at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. It arrives in showrooms next year, just in time to celebrate 25 years as America's favorite SUV.

By Noah Joseph

See also: Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang is a track-day weapon with 500 hp, Ford reveals all-new Everest SUV at Asia-Pacific forum [w/poll], 2015 Ford F-150 enters production.