2011 Explorer will not shirk SUV chores, says Ford

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 21, 2010

Ford Motor Co. will launch print and TV advertising for the redesigned 2011 Explorer this January, and in its campaign, Ford will emphasize off-road and towing capability, fuel economy and a smoother ride.

Ford's message: a different build, but the same capability. Ford's group marketing manager for North America car and utility vehicles, Amy Marentic, said that the inspiration behind the messaging is reinvention. Production began Dec. 1 and Ford started shipping Explorers to dealers Dec. 6.

For the Explorer, Ford has begun an aggressive viral and grass-roots campaign. A Web campaign on Facebook, dubbed Explorer Live, answers questions about the vehicle using short videos, some of which feature rapper Snoop and singer Bret Michaels.

The 2011 Explorer did away with the traditional SUV formula: rugged body-on-frame construction, rear-wheel drive and V-8 power. Instead, the all-wheel-drive Explorer, powered by a V-6, will perform like an SUV – features that Ford expects will attract off-road enthusiasts.

Ford anticipates criticism about the Explorer now sharing a front-drive platform with the Lincoln MKS sedan, Ford Taurus and MKT crossover, and Explorers with the EcoBoost four-cylinder engine being offered on front-drive versions. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: ford, ford explorer, suv

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