DALLAS, March 16, 1999 – Ford’s all-new heavy duty sport utility vehicle – the 2000 Excursion — debuted today in the heart of truck country at the Dallas Auto Show. The unveiling featured a stampede of new Ford sport SUVs and pickup trucks, and the music of country superstar Alan Jackson who is featured in a new Ford truck advertising campaign launching next month.
The Excursion is equipped with a 5.4 -liter V-8 engine, 6.8-liter V-10 or a 7.3-liter V-8 diesel. Built on the “Ford Tough” Super Duty F-Series platform, Excursion seats nine people and their luggage in three rows, with class leading cargo volume and class leading head, leg and shoulder room.
“We’re here in the heart of Ford truck country to unveil our new heavy-duty SUV because we wanted some of our most loyal customers to enjoy the first look,” said Jim O’Connor, Ford vice president and general manager, Ford Division.
“One out of every four SUVs purchased in the U.S. are made by Ford. We dominate the SUV market nationwide, but the people of Texas have been especially good to us,” O’Connor added. “Here in the Southwest, Explorer holds more than 32 percent of the compact utility segment and Expedition owns nearly 45 percent of the large utility segment. We’re expecting a similarly warm Texas welcome for the Excursion.”
Building on Ford Motor Company’s pledge to offer cleaner, safer and more efficient vehicles, Ford’s largest SUV offers a number of innovations:
Underscoring Ford’s commitment to the environment, Excursion Chief Program Engineer Ken Timmer announced that Ford is launching a test fleet of propane Excursion vehicles that are Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (SULEV). These are the first propane vehicles to meet SULEV standards – California’s strictest emissions standard for trucks.
A crew of seven cowboy ropers and women barrel racers demonstrated the versatility of Excursion to pack in passengers and their gear. They were led by professional trick roper, Tom Self, along with Robby Hearn, a calf roper and one of 150 African American members of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA); and Pedro Laredo, a professional roper and member of CHARRO, a Mexican cowboy association. Rodney Yarbrough, a professional steer wrestler with PRCA, brought his family to help generate Texas-style excitement. Yarbrough’s wife, Barbara, is a former rodeo queen and barrel racer; their daughter, Bobbi, is a former rodeo queen and two-time all-around champion; and her 10-year-old daughter, Klay, is “learning the ropes.”
About 75 dealers from throughout the Southwest Region joined O’Connor to welcome Excursion to Texas where it is expected to be a top seller.
“In Texas, people buy trucks like they buy cars everywhere else in the country,” explained Jerry Reynolds, managing partner of Prestige Ford and chairman for the Ford Dealers Council representing 370 Ford dealers in the Southwest. “I think we will be able to sell twice as many Excursions as we are probably going to be able to get.”
Two other Ford trucks are also on display at the show — the 2000-model year F-150 Crew Cab and Explorer Sport Trac. Both vehicles go on sale beginning next year. Building on F-Series’ leadership among full size pickups, the F-150 Crew Cab will be the first under-8,500-pound gross vehicle weight truck to offer four full size doors and a full rear passenger compartment. The Explorer Sport Trac – based on the industry’s number one selling SUV – sets new standards for versatility, with the comfort and convenience of an SUV and the utility of a cargo bed. It is expected to be the first vehicle of its kind offered for retail sale.
“I can’t think of a better place for the first-ever public showing of the newest member of the Ford truck family. Here in Texas, one in every three trucks sold is a Ford,” O’Connor said. “We’re listening and we’re innovating. As with all our trucks, Ford built Excursion, Sport Trac and Crew Cab to lead the industry. And we intend to do just that.”