The six-week-long United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis impacted multiple plants and numerous models over that time frame, shutting down production of select models for some time. As a result, impacted vehicles saw their production numbers plummet for the most part over that month and a half span, at least until the two sides reached a new agreement that was later ratified by UAW members and is now official. That list includes the Ford Chicago Assembly plant – which builds the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator – but perhaps unsurprisingly, production of the former model rebounded in a big way in November, according to the automaker’s most recent sales report.
In October, Ford Explorer production totaled a mere 173 units, which was 22,623 fewer than September – a drop of 643 percent, month-over-month. September was also the second most productive month of the year behind only January, when Ford built 24,159 units of the long-running model.
However, in November, Ford Explorer production at the Chicago Assembly plant rose all the way up to 19,735 units – far from its best performance of the year, but an increase of 19,562 units or 11,308 percent compared to October, regardless. That also brings production of the long-running crossover up to 186,508 units for 2023 as of the end of November, with one month left to go.
Looking ahead, the Ford Explorer is set to receive a refresh for the 2025 model year, though that mid-cycle action was originally planned for 2024. Instead, the 2024 Explorer will carry over mostly unchanged, but will face a shortened production cycle – as Ford Authority previously reported – before it makes way for the new model, which will feature some exterior and interior updates, as well as revised tech features.