Ford to unveil new Explorer at L.A. Auto Show

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday it will unveil a new 2016 Explorer — the sixth generation of the midsize SUV — at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show next month.

The new Explorer will reach showrooms next year with a new look, added capability and additional driver-assist technology. It will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the vehicle.

"The new Explorer is still the SUV America fell in love with — a vehicle built for the perfect family adventure," Jim Farley, Ford's executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service, said in a statement.

Ford has sold more than 158,000 Explorers through the first nine months of 2014, up 8.7 percent compared with the same period a year ago, according to Autodata.

 Ford logo

As part of the launch, Ford will debut an "#ExploreMore" digital teaser campaign on social media.

The new vehicle announcement comes as Ford's utility segment continues to grow. Ford said its utility vehicles — from its compact EcoSport to its full-size Expedition — accounted for 23 percent of global brand sales in 2013, and could reach 29 percent of global sales by 2020.

Ford said utility sales are expanding rapidly in places like Europe, where earlier this year it introduced the EcoSport, and will introduce the Edge in late 2015. In the United States, Ford said utility sales are the largest segment, and a record number of Escapes were sold in 2013.

"The success of the One Ford plan is continuing to pay off," Farley said. "As utility vehicle demand rises around the world, our global lineup of vehicles, like EcoSport, Escape/Kuga and Edge, is helping us grow our share. The global desire for new utility vehicles is driving expansion in developing markets like China and helping the Ford brand reach more customers."

Ford has said it will have two global reveals at the L.A. show, which begins Nov. 19.

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