"What we are discovering on the utility side, and I think it holds true for a lot of the industry, design is what sells, getting that exterior design right," Craig Patterson, Ford marketing manager for large SUVs, said in a recent interview.
He added: "Refreshing it will keep your volumes up, your revenues up. So it is critical to do that on relatively short cycles."
Patterson did not divulge what specific design changes are planned for the popular Ford SUVs or when the future SUVs would arrive at Ford dealerships.
The future full-size Expedition will be lighter, adopting many of the weight-saving materials that have been engineered into the 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck.
The 2016 Explorer received a mild restyling, freshened interior, upgraded safety features and a new high-end Platinum model. Analysts expect the redesigned Explorer to arrive in the first quarter of 2018 as a 2019 model.
At that time, the Explorer will switch to the lighter-weight, front-drive platform introduced on the redesigned 2015 Ford Edge.
Edmunds says: Ford promises to keep the changes coming for the Explorer and Expedition, something that will make them stand out in the crowded SUV segment.