In a press release that seems inspired by Neil Diamond’s uber patriotic anthem, Ford announced on January 26 that they’re coming (back) to America to manufacture the radically redesigned 2011 Ford Explorer. The new Explorer will be produced in the company’s Chicago factories, adding approximately 1,200 new jobs to the region. The assembly line is due to start rolling at the start of the 4th quarter.
With the US economy still on the mend from the financial fallout of 2008 and 2009, Ford’s decision to bring the project to Chicago is a hopeful sign and should help revitalize the area. Along with the Explorer, these Chicago factories will also be assembling the new Ford Taurus and the Lincoln MKS.
Not only will the 2011 Ford Explorer be built here in the US, it’s also getting a serious makeover. Gone are the days of the Explorer as a large, lumbering SUV. The 2011 models are going to fleet-footed crossovers equipped with Ford’s new EcoBoost engine, a 6-speed transmission, innovative inflatable seat belts, and unibody construction. Better still, the new Explorer is expected to enjoy a 25% reduction in fuel consumption from the current gas-guzzling Explorers.