Explorer to be built on foundation of efficiency, U.S. jobs

“The economic impact of the new Explorer will benefit hundreds of American communities,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “Not only does the new Explorer change the game for SUVs, it will help boost the American economy by fueling jobs and new investments.”


The reinvented 2011 Ford Explorer – designed and built in the United States – will do more than redefine how Americans think of SUVs. The all-new vehicle will bring more than 600 new supplier jobs in addition to the 1,200 Ford positions being added. The 2011 Explorer also will be exported to more than 90 countries after it goes into production later this year.

Economic Impact of 2011 Ford Explorer

“The economic impact of the new Explorer will benefit hundreds of American communities,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “Not only does the new Explorer change the game for SUVs, it will help boost the American economy by fueling jobs and new investments.”

The new Explorer will be produced at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant later this year as a result of a $400 million investment that is adding 1,200 new jobs at the plant. 

Key suppliers to the Explorer are investing in new facilities, adding shifts and hiring for more than 600 jobs in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.  

Each automotive job is estimated to generate an additional 10 indirect jobs, according to the Center for Automotive Research data. That means Explorer could help create up to 12,000 new jobs overall.

“Suppliers across the country are stepping up to the challenge of building the next Explorer,” said Tony Brown, group vice president, Ford Global Purchasing. “There are more than 100 companies in 23 states that will produce parts and components for the 2011 Explorer and hundreds more indirect suppliers beyond that.”

Suppliers adding jobs come from across Ford’s supply base and include members of the company’s minority- and women-owned business groups. They include:

  • Dakkota Integrated Systems (fascia and headliners), adding jobs in Illinois and Michigan
  • Johnson Controls (door trim panels and fascia components), adding jobs in Michigan
  • Key Safety Systems (restraints), adding jobs in Michigan
  • Lear Corporation (seats), adding jobs in Indiana
  • NYX (interior hard-trim), adding jobs in Michigan
  • Piston Automotive (cooling modules), adding jobs in Illinois
  • Tower Automotive (body stampings), adding jobs in Illinois
  • ZF Lemforder (chassis modules), adding jobs in Illinois

American workers also will benefit from Explorer’s popularity overseas. The iconic SUV is Ford’s most exported North American product and has helped secure U.S. jobs in a time of economic turmoil. 

The new Explorer is expected to maintain that leading export role as the company raises expectations for U.S. sales based on the vehicle’s outstanding combination of fuel efficiency, capability, safety and technology. The new Explorer will be exported to up to 90 countries, assisting with Ford’s overall efforts to increase exports from North America.  This also supports President Barack Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports during the next five years.

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