As Ford Authority recently reported, the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator EV – both of which were confirmed earlier this year – were recently delayed until late 2024 as the automaker looks to triple its Ford Mustang Mach-E production to 200,000 units annually at the Ford Cuautitlan Assembly Plant. Previously, the automaker planned to build the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator EV alongside the Mach-E at the Cuautitlan plant, but now, it’s unclear where those crossovers might be produced. However, the Ford Oakville Assembly Plant seems like a strong possibility, according to Automotive News Canada.
Currently, the Oakville plant builds the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus. However, both of those models will reportedly be discontinued in 2024 as the plant is retooled to produce a total of five new EV models, as Ford Authority previously reported. Two industry analysts believe that the Explorer and Aviator EVs will be among those new models, of which it expects to sell 100,000 per year once the two enter production in late 2024.
Ford has yet to decide where the two EV crossovers will be built, though Oakville seems like the most logical choice since it will utilize Ford’s next-generation EV architecture and therefore wouldn’t require as much of an investment as other plants. Oakville will also reportedly have the capacity to build 200,000 vehicles per year once it’s retooled. The ICE-powered versions of the Explorer and Aviator – both of which ride on the Ford CD6 platform – are built at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant. However, that facility is currently operating at capacity and doesn’t have room for EV variants of the two crossovers.
Meanwhile, Ford’s Blue Oval City complex won’t come online until 2025, but the automaker could reportedly also consider building the Explorer and Aviator EVs at the Ford Ohio Assembly Plant, where it originally planned to, or the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant, which has the capacity to produce 260,000 vehicles annually, but is currently far below that target building nothing but the Ford Mustang.