As Ford Authority reported in early August, the 2023 Ford Explorer is essentially a carryover model with no major changes after the long-running crossover was redesigned for the 2020 model year and received a bevy of updates for 2022. However, with various supply chain issues posing problems for automotive production, sources familiar with the matter have now told Ford Authority that the 2023 Ford Explorer is ditching its hands-free liftgate feature.
For the 2022 model year, this particular feature was part of the Limited, ST, King Ranch, and Platinum trims, but a hands-free liftgate removal option was introduced during production, with the option becoming mandatory later in the 2022 production run. It is worth noting that this change does not impact the power liftgate, however, which is standard equipment on every 2023 Ford Explorer model.
This move – as has been the case with most – was made in response to supply constraints, which have prompted Ford to build and store around 40,000 trucks and SUVs at its various facilities until the parts needed to finish them arrive. The automaker expects to ship those so-called “vehicles on wheels” to dealers by the end of the year, but Ford CEO Jim Farley recently stated that he believes supply chain issues are “here to stay.”
As Ford Authority reported in June, 2023 Explorer order banks opened up back in August, while production is slated to begin at the Chicago Assembly plant on November 7th, 2022. But while the Explorer won’t receive any major changes for the new model year, far bigger things are on the horizon.
That includes the arrival of the all-electric Explorer and Lincoln Aviator, which were originally expected to launch in 2023 but have since been pushed back to late 2024. These two EVs will be produced at the Oakville Assembly plant in Canada following its forthcoming retooling for EV production, and will reportedly be the only two vehicles built at that facility following its overhaul.