Ford Explorer Marks Milestone With Kickoff of Production in Russia | Edmunds.com
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Ford Explorer Marks Milestone With Kickoff of Production in Russia


Just the Facts:
  • Starting today, the Ford Explorer will be built somewhere other than America: Tatarstan, Russia.
  • The first full-production Ford Explorer rolled off the assembly line on Thursday at Ford Sollers Elabuga Assembly Plant, bound for the Russian market.
  • Ford exports Explorers from the U.S. to 64 countries around the world.

DEARBORN, Michigan — Starting today, the Ford Explorer will be built somewhere other than America: Tatarstan, Russia.

The first full-production Ford Explorer rolled off the assembly line on Thursday at Ford Sollers Elabuga Assembly Plant, bound for the Russian market.

"Russia is on its way to being the largest market in Europe and presents an enormous opportunity for growth," said Ted Cannis, president and CEO of Ford Sollers, in a statement.

Ford said global demand for the Explorer prompted the move. The company said exports of the Explorer increased nearly 65 percent last year compared to 2011. In February, Ford Sollers sold more than 400 Explorers, a record in Russia. Explorer sales are slated to begin in China in the coming weeks, according to the automaker.

"As demand for utility vehicles increases around the world, the Ford Explorer is being produced from the ground up outside of the United States for the first time in the iconic SUV's history," said Ford in a statement.

Previously, the Elabuga plant produced "knock-down" versions of the Explorers. These are vehicles that are partially assembled at one plant and then transported to another plant for final assembly. The knock-downs were partially assembled at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant.

Ford said Chicago Assembly will continue to produce Explorers for the U.S. and more than 60 other countries.

Ford exports Explorers from the U.S. to 64 countries around the world.

Edmunds says: With Russia's rough weather and terrain, the Ford Explorer is expected to be a resounding hit.

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