The situation with the coronavirus has delayed a lot of plans from a lot of automobile companies, particularly with regards to the introduction of new models.
One anticipated model that has been significantly delayed is the new generation Ford Explorer, a model that was initially revealed at the Detroit motor show in January... of last year.
Well, now we have a better idea as to when the Blue Oval will launch the all-new Explorer: according to P.K. Umashankar, president and managing director of Ford Philippines, they are aiming to introduce the model by either the end of 2020 or early in 2021.
We know that's not a very specific timeframe, but it does give customers an idea when the Explorer will arrive showrooms and prepare their plans accordingly.
The new generation Explorer will replace the very popular fifth-generation model that has been in Philippine showrooms since October 2011, while the current facelifted model has been in the market since 2018.
The new generation of Ford's three-row midsize crossover SUV has been fully redesigned both inside and out and features uprated EcoBoost turbo engines, a primarily rear-wheel drivetrain (instead of the front like the current model) with optional all-wheel drive, new ten-speed automatic gearbox with a rotary dial drive selector, SYNC 3 infotainment, Terrain Management System, enhanced safety systems and more.
The reason for the rather long timeframe between the model's initial reveal and the local market launch is simple: supply and demand. The Explorer, as before, is made at Ford's plant in Chicago, Illinois. With the model's popularity in the U.S. market, production was actually already behind to meet the demand of the Explorer amongst their customers at home, what more for export customers in the Philippines. As such, Ford Philippines has had to hold off on announcing the introduction of the new generation Explorer.
Of course, that was even before the coronavirus pandemic played a role and shut down assembly lines. In fact, as of this writing, the Chicago plant has had to shut down again (after restarting on Monday, May 18) according to various reports due to more COVID-19 infections.
That means more delays, especially since the U.S. has the single largest tally of positive coronavirus infections at 1,621,196 confirmed cases.