Ford Authority

Ford Explorer Production Plummeted In May 2024

After the UAW strike ended last November, Ford Explorer production rebounded, with the Chicago Assembly Plant churning out over 20,000 examples per month of the three-row SUV in 2024. However, based on data included with the May 2024 U.S. sales report, output at the plant dropped significantly last month, although there’s an easy explanation for the abrupt change.

2025 Ford Explorer rear side quarter view

Ford Explorer production started off the year at a breakneck pace, with 21,835 units being manufactured in January. In February, production increased to 24,482 SUVs, while March beat that figure by several hundred units, for 24,692 total. In April, production dropped 19 percent to 20,097. Output at the plant dropped even more precipitously in May, to just 8,442, for a substantial 58 percent drop when compared to the prior month. Through May, the plant produced 99,548 examples of the Explorer.

There is a clear explanation for that big drop off though, and that’s due to the 2025 Ford Explorer. As Ford Authority previously reported, Chicago Assembly Plant began producing the refreshed SUV in mid-May. Notable alterations include a revised exterior with changes to the front fascia and rear tailgate, along with the introduction of Ford BlueCruise into the model range. Additionally, the updated Ford Explorer is the among the first vehicles to receive the all-new Ford Digital Experience, which replaces Sync 3 as the default infotainment system. The new system boasts wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability along with integrated Google apps. A 13.2-inch touchscreen is standard and flanked by an updated dashboard. Ford elected to update the closely related Lincoln Aviator along similar lines, and production of the refreshed luxury SUV also commenced in May.

It is unclear if Ford Explorer production will quickly bounce back to the levels seen in the first few months of 2024. The company has been putting more of an emphasis on quality as of late, instead opting to slow down launches to catch problems at time of manufacturing. According to Ford CEO Jim Farley, the company avoided 12 recalls involving the 2024 Ford F-150 due to the automaker’s more stringent quality standards. By 2025, it aims for its unibody lineup to be in the top quartile for quality in their respective segments.

We’ll have more on the Ford Explorer soon, so subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford Explorer news, and for continuous Ford news updates.

Ed owns a 1986 Ford Taurus LX, and he routinely daydreams about buying another one, a fantasy that may someday become a reality.

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  1. Ford Owner

    Bring back the Explorer Hybrid!

  2. Joe

    I agree 100% ! Will wait for the ’26 model to, hopefully, offer the option. Ranger should be next.

  3. Automotive

    Had a new explorer as a loaner when my mach e GTPE had the battery coupler changed. Only 18 miles red and loaded. Everything look great. 3 rows, lots of room but….the 4 cylinder wined all the time under power. In under 55mph driving it was terrible. My 06 Jeep Commander with 3.7 is quieter. On the highway it was fine. But at $55000 it should have a 6 cylinder. I wouldn’t consider the 4 banger. Love our GTPE.


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