2011 Ford Explorer coming with a new message: ‘Utility with mpg’!

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

Fuel efficiency has never been the strong suit of the 2011 Ford Explorer. Ford Motor Co. however has redesigned the 2011 Explorer, making it a family vehicle that can be driven off-road with the needed towing capability, all while being able to save on fuel.

To promote the new version of the 2011 Explorer, the company plans to do it starting with social media. Ford's group vice president of global marketing, sales and service Jim Farley shares that the goal is to destroy the myth and inform people what the Explorer now has to offer.

Since the 2011 Explorer has the same platform as that of the Ford Taurus, it means that it has become a crossover based on a car platform instead of being a truck-derived SUV. According to Farley, the myth that they want to end is that the 2011 Explorer cannot be a family vehicle that can also offer fuel economy.

It will have six months to hopefully change how customers view the Explorer. The company decided to start with social media as it offers them an opportunity to talk directly to the customers. Being able to have an online discussion with community leaders and even people who love the Explorer is important as it can help in ending the myth, Farley adds.

The company’s Facebook page has an estimated 30,000 friends and it was here that the company teased them for months on the Explorer before finally revealing it today to the public. The company also utilized an online promotion which targeted around 50 million people with the option to visit the company’s Facebook page to get additional details on the Explorer.

This move by Ford is rare as most automakers would often use an auto show to reveal a redesigned vehicle instead of going online. Once the redesigned Explorer becomes available for sale in winter though, Ford will also use print advertising and even the traditional TV ads. The V-6 version of the new Explorer has been priced starting at $28,995.

The 2011 Explorer shows that the demand in the U.S. market for truck-based SUVs has decreased with most customers now preferring car-based crossovers which are more fuel efficient. This latest iteration of the Explorer will no longer have the V-8 engine as an option. What it does have is the V-6 3.5-liter engine with the option to have the Ecoboost 2-liter 4-cylinder engine.

The company had estimated that on an annual basis, around 140,000 consumers have considered buying an Explorer. Farley shares that while many of them like the capability of the vehicle, more people want fuel economy.

With this new engine, he adds, it will strengthen the notion that the company is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to fuel economy. In addition to the standard V-6 engine, the new Explorer has a two-wheel drive and comes with 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway ratings.

Unlike the previous Explorer model, the new version has increased its fuel economy by 30% and with the EcoBoost, it should be able to give 18/26. In fact, the V-6 3.5-liter engine is 20% better compared to the present V-6 engine.

Topics: ford, ford explorer, suv

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