Back in late September – a couple of weeks after the onset of the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the Detroit Big Three automakers – the union walked out of the Chicago Assembly plant, which builds the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator. The strike wound up lasting roughly one more month, meaning that production of the 2023 Lincoln Aviator and Explorer was suppressed in a major way over that timeframe, as one would expect, and that includes the month of October, according to the automaker’s most recent sales report.
As Ford Authority previously reported, last month, a grand total of 173 Ford Explorer crossovers were built at the Chicago Assembly plant, which is 22,623 fewer than September. The 2023 Lincoln Aviator didn’t fare any better, as just 28 units rolled off the same assembly line last month, which is a whopping 2,704 less than September.
Meanwhile, 2024 Lincoln Aviator production is currently scheduled to begin on January 2nd, 2024, and as Ford Authority previously reported, the crossover will carry over completely unchanged save for one major update – the plug-in hybrid Grand Touring model has been discontinued for the new year, though it’s possible the PHEV will make a comeback as part of the 2025 refresh, perhaps packing a different electrified powertrain. However, for now, it’s unclear if that’s the case, and we already know that the automaker is developing all-electric versions of it and the Explorer.
In the meantime, Ford Authority has spotted numerous refreshed Aviator models out testing over the past few months, many devoid of any sort of camouflage, revealing the model’s updated exterior styling, as well as some interior revisions – including the disappearance of its physical HVAC button array.