The Ford Explorer has been the best selling SUV for years. In 2000 Ford sold 445,157 Explorers. Although recently sales of the current generation have continued to drop significantly with each new year, mainly due to high fuel prices. At the same time sales of more fuel-efficient crossovers have continued to rise. In the first 4 months of this year Honda sold 64,951 of the all-new Honda CR-V vs. the 47,553 Explorers that Ford sold. For the first time ever the Honda CR-V is now the best selling SUV in the U.S.
The current trend is likely to continue. Honda CR-V sales are up 42 percent this year and the Explorer’s sales are down 23 percent. Other crossovers such as the Toyota RAV-4 and Ford Escape continue to steal sales from their larger counterparts. Since fuel prices are now at their highest level, car buyers continue to make fuel-efficiency a priority.
The Honda CR-V is selling so well that Honda is having trouble keeping up with the demand. For the first time ever they are starting to have to import CR-Vs from Japan to supplement the models that are made in Ohio. Ford has announced plans to build the next generation Explorer on a unit-body platform like the Ford Escape and Ford Edge SUVs. But what is the point? Ford already has the Escape, Edge, Taurus X and Flex in the lineup. Where will the Explorer fit in?
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