Blue Oval to maximise profits by not offering large SUV in low-volume regions, namely Egypt and Thailand.
Ford has announced it will be dropping the Explorer from numerous low-selling markets in a bid to maximise its profits, ahead of the new-generation model’s launch in the second half of next year.
Speaking with industry journal Automotive News, Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations, said: “The cost of doing business there wasn’t worth the trip for less than 100 vehicles”.
“Digging into the data on the part numbers and build configurations exposes things like this and allows us to be more profitable and not spend the engineering resources in markets to do that.”
Less than 100 Explorers are being sold a year in markets like Cuba, Iceland, Thailand, Mongolia, Iraq and Egypt.
According to the report, Ford is employing “yield management” techniques to simplify its model ranges and reduce order complexity.
One of the examples highlighted is the current Explorer’s 139 different exterior mirror configurations – with or without blind-spot monitoring, different exterior colours, and so on – which will be cut back to 25 variations for the next-gen model.
The current Explorer comes standard with blind-spot monitoring instead of offering the tech as an option, and the 2019 model-year gets gloss black mirror caps instead of matching body colour, reducing the number of available configurations to streamline production.
Other changes include a reduction in the number of configurations for the Fusion sedan sold in left-hand drive markets like the USA. Previously around 2000 different combinations were available, now there’s closer to 30.
“We’re going part by part and product by product to attack all this complexity in the business,” Hinrichs said.
The current Explorer isn’t offered Down Under, as it is exclusively left-hand drive. Australia has history with the nameplate, however, which was available locally between 1996 and 2005.
Rumour has it that the next Explorer will be offered with right-hand drive, though, which could put it on the cards for the Australian market.
Should that be correct, it would give the Blue Oval a proper three-row rival to the likes of the Mazda CX-9 and Toyota Kluger, given the upcoming Endura (badged Edge elsewhere) will only be offered with five seats locally, even though a seven-seat version is available in China.
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