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EXPLORER AND A FORD ASSEMBLY PLANT ...A MARRIAGE MADE IN LOUISVILLE

 LOUISVILLE, Ky., Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The first Ford Explorer rolled from the assembly line on Feb. 14, 1990 -- Valentine's Day.
 A love affair quickly developed between employees of the Louisville Assembly Plant (LAP) of Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and this popular two- and four-door compact utility vehicle which was to mean good things for them and their plant. The love affair quickly spread to the buying public.
 FORD MADE MAJOR INVESTMENT FOR EXPLORER
 Ford invested $563 million to design, engineer and bring to market the Explorer. A key part of that expenditure was Ford's investment of $260 million at LAP to build a 403,000-square-foot plant addition. It housed a new frame and axle-buildup area, a new paint operation and an expanded body shop.
 Ford hired more than 600 new employees and provided 80 to 120 hours of training to prepare each new and veteran employee to build the Explorer. Plant-wide employee training totaled 300,000 hours.
 Government, labor and management worked together preparing for the Explorer. Government's training assistance totaled $13 million.
 EXPORTS ARE PART OF THE EXPLORER STORY
 Ford exports Explorers to Europe, the Middle East Gulf Cooperative countries, Puerto Rico, Japan, Mexico and Latin America.
 Last November Ford opened its Vehicle Modification Center at LAP, built with a Ford investment of $500,000. It modifies 6,000 Explorers annually for export to Europe.
 Explorer sales have been strong since it hit the market. In 1992 Ford dealers delivered a whopping 306,681 Explorers. They outsold by 183,000 vehicles the number two vehicle. Explorer was the third-best selling truck and fifth-best selling vehicle.
 Also in 1992 Explorer led its compact-utility segment of the vehicle market, as it has since introduction on March 15, 1990. It beat combined sales (179,242) of all 11 imported vehicles in its segment.
 STUDY DESCRIBES EXPLORER BUYERS
 The Explorer attracts incremental business for Ford and its dealers. Two of three Explorer buyers in 1992 switched to Explorer from a non- Ford vehicle, according to a 1992 buyers study.
 The median Explorer buyer age was 40; his/her median income was $65,000, and 53 percent were college graduates. About 69 percent were men. About 61 percent of buyers have managerial, professional or technical occupations.
 STRONG SALES PROMPT INCREASE IN PRODUCTION
 Continuing strong Explorer sales prompted Ford to increase production to meet customer demands. Beginning next December, a production modification at LAP can add 500 extra Explorers per week. In January 1995, the company will begin adding a second source of Explorers, its St. Louis Assembly Plant.
 Since its introduction, the Explorer has won several awards from enthusiast publications. They include Four Wheeler of the Year honors twice from Four Wheeler magazine, the Design and Engineering Award from Popular Mechanics, Truck of the Year Award from Automundo magazine and the Readers' Choice Award of Motorweek.
 -0- 8/27/93
 /CONTACT: Bert Serre', 313-322-1185, or Tom Boyle, 404-577-2277, both of Ford Motor Company/
 (F)


CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Kentucky IN: AUT SU:

RA-BN -- AT005 -- 6533 08/27/93 10:08 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 27, 1993
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