The carmaker did its best to ready the plant for a proper production process of the SUV. Ford spent $400 million in upgrading the plant and training the employees in tacking the challenges raised by the production of the new model.
“Ford is investing in American manufacturing, ensuring that the most important new products in the company’s lineup are built in the U.S. by UAW workers,” said Jim Tetreault, vice president of North America Manufacturing. “We are thrilled to bring 2011 Ford Explorer production to Chicago Assembly Plant along with the jobs and investment it provides to the region."
The Explorer will be sent onto the market equipped with two engines, a 3.5l V6 and a 2.0l four cylinder EcoBoost (237 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 250 lb.-ft. of torque). The first unit, developing 290 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque, will be offered as standard on base, XLT and Limited trims. The engines will be paired to a six-speed transmission as standard, while the XLT and Limited trims offer a SelectShift Automatic transmission.
Ford will charge for the new Explorer $28,995, $1,000 less than the outgoing model. It will be offered in three versions, base, XLT and Limited. All are equipped with what Ford calls the industry-first inflatable rear seat belts, Trinity front impact structure, AdvanceTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control) and Curve Control technology.