FORD SUVS SET INDUSTRY SALES RECORD FOR FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR
DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 19, 2001 – For the fifth year in a row, Ford is the best-selling brand of SUVs. With almost two weeks remaining in the 2001 calendar year, Ford dealers have delivered a record 760,090 sport utility vehicles to U.S. customers. Ford set the previous record (752,061) last year.
"This sales milestone reinforces Ford's leadership in the market," said Jim O'Connor, Ford Division president. "It says a lot about the strength of our No Boundaries SUV lineup. From the Escape to the Excursion, Ford offers a comprehensive product portfolio to satisfy our customer's needs."
The Ford Explorer – the flagship in Ford's lineup of No Boundaries SUVs – has been the best-selling sport utility vehicle every year since it was introduced in 1990. In 2001, Explorer sales will eclipse 400,000 for the fourth year in row, and Explorer is expected to outsell its closest competitor by 60 percent.
The 2002 Explorer is designed to offer an improved ride, a more comfortable and user- friendly interior, and a new independent rear suspension (IRS) system with unique porthole-in-frame design – allowing for a lower step-in height, an optional third-row seat and seven-passenger seating capability. In addition, the 2002 Explorer features a 2.5-inch-wider stance, a 2-inch-longer wheelbase, optional adjustable pedals and ControlTrac™ four-wheel-drive system.
Complementing Explorer's sales success, the Ford Escape has quickly climbed to the top of the charts for small SUVs during its first year of sales. In early October, Escape set an all-time small SUV calendar-year sales record, selling 121,184 units in just over nine months. Through November, Ford Outfitters had delivered 153,006 Ford Escapes to U.S. customers.
Ford's No Boundaries SUV lineup includes Escape, Explorer Sport, Explorer Sport Trac, four-door Explorer, Expedition and Excursion. Expedition has been the top-selling large SUV since it was introduced in 1996.
"We have a fantastic lineup of SUVs," said O'Connor. "Our employees and dealers can take pride in the fact that, once again, they have helped make Ford's No Boundaries lineup of SUVs the best-selling in the world."