Ford Motor Company unveiled the all-new, sixth-generation Explorer in the United States in 2019. The long-running utility launched several months thereafter, and has since been making its way to international markets, such as China. The new Ford Explorer debuted in China in June 2020, and initial reaction to the all-new Explorer is showing healthy signs, with 2,000 orders being placed for the three-row crossover in its first two weeks on the market.
The Explorer line in China is comprised of four trim levels, most of which come standard with four-wheel drive. The base model is the rear-drive Explorer Fashion Edition with the 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder. From there, FoMoCo offers three other trims: 4WD Titanium, 4WD ST-Line Sports Edition, and 4WD Platinum Edition.
China does not get the Explorer ST offered in North America. Instead, it gets the Explorer ST-Line, which features the sportier appearance of the Explorer ST, but without the increased performance hardware, such as the 400-horsepower 3.0L EcoBoost V6. Instead, the Explorer ST-Line offered in China features the 2.3L EcoBoost I4 engine on all models.
Prices for the Chinese-market Ford Explorer start at 309,800 yuan, or around $44,000.
Beyond a slightly different trim level structure and, the Chinese-market Ford Explorer also has a slightly different appearance than the model sold in North America, with the front end featuring a taller grille.
The Chinese-market Ford Explorer is produced at the Ford Chongqing plant in China. The plant is part of a tie-up between FoMoCo and Changan Automobile – Ford’s joint venture partner in China. The fact that the Chinese-market Explorer is built locally in China is noteworthy, as it allows Ford to sell the vehicle without steep duties placed on imported vehicles that make such automobiles significantly more expensive to buy.
Ford imports the Mustang and F-150 Raptor into China from the U.S., subjecting the vehicles to a Chinese consumption and value-added tax that brings the starting price of the pony car with the 2.3L EcoBoost engine to 369,800 Yuan (nearly $53,000 USD, at the current exchange rate) and the Raptor to 523,800 Yuan (nearly $75,000 USD). Those are steep increases compared to the starting prices of $26,670 and $53,455 for both models in the U.S., respectively.
Meanwhile, Ford China saw healthy Q2 2020 sales, with nearly 160,000 deliveries for a 3 percent increase year-over-year. The solid performance was driven in part by the Explorer and the new Ford Escape, which itself accounted for 11,290 units.