Ford Explorer sales dropped for the first time in seven years in 2016, but the popular mid-sized Sport Utility Vehicle that's made in the Calumet Region started 2017 on the right track.
The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker sold 15,294 Explorers in January, a 7.2 percent gain over the 14,266 sold in January 2016. Sales of all Ford vehicles rose by 6 percent to 120,400 vehicles last month.
"Ford brand SUVs were up overall 6 percent, but at retail they were up 11 percent, and that marks our best start to Ford brand SUV’s in company history," Ford Sales Analyst Erich Merkle said.
Locally, Ford makes the Explorer, Taurus, Police Interceptor Utility, and Police Interceptor Sedan at the Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewisch and the Chicago Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights, which together employ more than 5,500 workers. Sales of the Police Interceptor Sedan rose 21.1 percent in January, while Police Interceptor Utility sales ticked up by 0.3 percent to 2,356 units.
Sales of the Taurus dropped 9.6 percent to 2,814 cars.
“The new year brought strong consumer demand for F-Series, Lincoln and record SUV sales, especially high-end models,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “This drove near-record company average transaction prices for Ford, up $2,500 versus a year ago and far outpacing the overall January industry increase of $550.”
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