The change of generations turned out for the crossover Ford Explorer with drop in sales in the U.S. market by almost a third. Understand how it happened.
Explorer is one of the most successful and the most troubled of Ford models. In the early 2000’s was announced a multimillion-dollar opinion, due to the fact that Explorer, shod in Firestone tires, overturned at high speed due to the destruction of the tires. Company long recognized problem that has resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries. Later models due to different defects are also regularly caught in feedback sheets NHTSA (National management of safety of traffic of the USA). Last review Ford Explorer fifth generation was associated with cracks in the suspension and raised 1.2 million cars worldwide.
New, sixth generation of the Ford Explorer debuted earlier this year. Crossover has radically changed the layout: the engine is now installed under the hood longitudinally and not transversely, the drive wheels by default back. Platform change has become a stumbling block in the preparation of models for production at the plant in Chicago. The company’s management insisted on the fastest possible release of the to new Explorer as soon as possible started to make a profit. Edition of the Detroit News reports that the changeover of the pipeline was allotted a total of 31 days in March – too little, given the change of the layout. Commissioning was conducted in an emergency mode, training of workers to meet tight deadlines occurred outside of the enterprise. Production of the new Explorer launched in three shifts, the quality control occurred at the plant in flat Rock, near Detroit, as in Chicago for an appropriate venue simply had no place.
The miracle did not happen: the new Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator platform was rolled out with a variety of defects, most of which was able to identify the stage of quality control, but it negatively affected the rhythm of production, shipment of cars to dealers was delayed. Our database NHTSA, the new Explorer is involved in three campaigns surveys: because of the risk of a short circuit in the wiring incorrectly routed, insecure rear seatback and a faulty Parking brake.
Now, according to representatives of Ford, all the problems with the release of a new ie window fixed, but they recognize that the time for the development of the sixth generation model was too little, and leadership in the pursuit of quick margin demanded from engineers and producers impossible. Delays in deliveries have led to a drop in Explorer sales in the U.S. to 146 557 units in the first three quarters of this year, 25.6% less compared to the same period in 2018 (data from Focus2move). Leaders of mid-size SUV segment, meanwhile, became the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Highlander: from January to September and sold 385 182 180 169 units respectively.
We will add that the best year of sales for the model Explorer was 2000, when their customers found nearly 450 thousand cars, and the best result of the crossover of the last generation was achieved in 2018, when it sold more than 250 thousand PCs. In fact, the old Explorer could make money, but the leadership of Ford had hoped that the new Explorer, which many so much waiting, will become even more successful and will allow the company to survive tough times. Alas, haste is not justified, but as things go, the new Explorer is on, will largely depend on the presence/absence of defects.