Ford Needed The Explorer To Be A Hit, What They Got Was A Nightmare

Ford has a lot riding on the 2020 Explorer, but there’s no hiding the fact that the model’s launch has been a disaster.

The Detroit Free Press has been keeping close tabs on the fiasco and they detailed countless issues with the crossover last month. Among the issues cited are problems with the chassis, transmission, suspension and air-conditioning system. The company can’t even get the basics right as some models have reportedly been shipped with missing emblems and trim pieces as well as the wrong wheels.

The issues have already resulted in two recalls and plenty of upset customers.  Ford has also had to ship thousands of Explorers and Lincoln Aviators from the Chicago plant where they are built to the Flat Rock assembly plant in Michigan where workers are forced to fix the problems.

Also Read: 2020 Ford Explorer Debuts With Less Weight And New RWD Platform

That’s pretty bad news for Ford and the issues have caused sales to plummet. Unsurprisingly, Wall Street isn’t happy and Bloomberg says investors are losing their patience with Ford CEO Jim Hackett.

It’s not hard to see why as publication noted Ford stock has fallen 15% since Hackett assumed the role in 2017. Analysts are also expecting a disappointing third quarter as the automaker is slated to post lower profits and revenues than last year.

The Explorer problems are factoring into this as Morningstar analyst David Whiston said, “This Explorer issue is going to be a big negative for the quarter. It’s a viciously competitive market and you don’t want to be missing one of your big hitters.”

A lot of the problems are being blamed on the company’s Chicago plant which has a hostile work environment according to some employees. Ford dismissed that by saying it wasn’t aware of any recent issues involving employees intimidating one another, but the plant is reportedly suffering high turnover rates and is “riven with dissension that’s hampering productivity and quality.”

  • Leconte Dave

    Someone is getting fired soon

  • Daniel

    sounds like Ford have little experience in mass producing cars

  • MarkoS

    Too bad, it seems they have the rough formula down. This should have been a knock-out, now the Koreans own the segment.

    • brn

      Because the Koreans don’t have a history of producing questionable vehicles?

      • MarkoS

        Hardly the subject but since the troll wants. Probably no more than Ford. And that does not take away that the Telluride is knocking it out of the park. Now, key word.

        • brn

          Don’t have an argument, resort to name calling. The only troll here is the one that brought up a different brand.

          • MarkoS

            GTFU. Trolls live under a bridge and you are under mine. You ask a question you got your answer.

      • Ken Lyns

        Koreans have surpassed Ford years ago and are still improving. Ford is sliding backwards.

  • illogicalPotato

    The design is a step backwards too. What is this 2006? What’s with that angle sidebody undercut? Front looks unsorted and badly proportioned. More fit for a Focus.

  • WHEN A SMALL START UP LIKE TESLA HAS THIS HAPPEN EVERYONE CALLS FOR THEIR DEMISE. FOR A MAJOR COMPANY THIS IS EMBARRASSING.

  • Eric

    How are union negotiations going, btw?

  • Six_Tymes

    sabotage

    • MarketAndChurch

      I hope it is sabotage, otherwise all we’re left with is a poorly engineered vehicle.

      But the UAW have no reason to sabotage the Explorer because Ford products are so expensive to price in their crazy high labor costs.

    • db

      I agree, the Chicago plant has an ugly reputation of racism and sexism and I haven’t read much about if Ford ever really “cleaned house”.

      This is a very vital piece in Ford’s arsenal and its surprising more hasn’t been done about the general atmosphere of the plant.

    • Ben

      Yeah, good luck with that with the 800lb ball of red tape that is a union.

    • Stephen G

      Cutting off your nose to spite your face doesn’t make sense.

  • willhaven

    The interior quality is a lot shittier than the images on the web let on. For the money, it’s unacceptable.

    • db

      Proof? Links?

      • PhilMcGraw

        CarandDriver just released a comparison test where it placed 4th out of 5 cars (only managed to beat the Enclave which hasn’t had a true update in many years).

        “Senior editor Eric Tingwall was harshest when he wrote that the Ford’s interior “isn’t designed so much as cobbled together.” In the Kia, no surface was overlooked. In the Ford, it seems few were looked at. The plastics are hard and unappealing, and the center-stack design appears efficient and clean until you realize that’s simply because the Explorer doesn’t have many goodies to manage.”

        • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

          “Only managed to beat the Enclave which hasn’t had a true update in many years”

          The current Enclave is only two years old.

      • PhilMcGraw

        Here’s another quote from Motor Trend in their comparison between it and the Telluride:

        “In comparison, the Explorer XLT’s interior reeks of cheapness, putting it way behind the Telluride in terms of quality. Multiple staffers criticized the Explorer’s interior for cost cutting and the extensive use of substandard bits throughout the cabin. (Editors had similar opinions about two more expensive Explorer testers.)”

    • :/ Yurr

      I went to see one and went to open the door and the door handle felt loose. *Sigh*

  • Rasta_Farian

    What a damned shame…

    • db

      ↑↑THIS↑↑

  • MarketAndChurch

    That’s why I’m getting the Telluride in 2 weeks, for a very highly-spec’d Telluride (EX) with AWD comes packed with features that you’ll have to pay $7000 more to get in an Explorer. Heck, the Explorer starts close to $37000.

    • Ben

      Did you check out the Hyundai equivalent and if so, why won you over with the Kia?

      • MarketAndChurch

        I’m going to test drive the Hyundai sometime this week or the next. I have to for 3 reasons: My gf and my mom prefer it, it’s my number 2 choice, and because it’s so hard to find dealers with the Telluride in stock, especially with the features I’m looking for. I’m going for the top SX trim and AWD, but only with the addition of their trailer two package (self-leveling suspension seems to be standard on the Hyundai, not the Kia), and I can’t find many options under $42k. Of the few dealers I find in my area that have an SX top trim, they’re fully optioned out to past $46,000.

        Ultimately, it comes down to looks, and the Kia won me over with how it looks. I think it’s a design that will age well. Between it and the Hyundai, I think the Hyundai is an inch narrower and an inch shorter, but I often have big passengers and lots of cargo to haul around when camping/fishing/snowboarding that I could use all the space I can get, but even that is a minor issue I can look past.

        You just can’t get all the features that Hyundai/Kia give you in any other brand, not to mention best-of-class interiors, so that’s why they both edge out my three other choices, the Highlander, Explorer, and Ascent. Plus the Explorer is a mess right now and overpriced, and I’m not convinced with Subaru’s AWD, and the new Highlander doesn’t arrive until next February.

        • Ben

          Admittedly it took time for the design to grow on me, but seeing them around town has turned my initial opinion around. Overall, I’d take an Explorer ST, but like you said, they’re very pricey and lately terrible build quality. Kia is a solid choice.

          • MarketAndChurch

            If money wasn’t an issue for me, I too would take the Explorer ST. The Explorer ST is probably the funnest SUV to drive under 60k short of one of the German4 SUV’s out there. And unlike a lot of people, I love the new Explorer’s looks lol, I think it looks too sophisticated for many out there to appreciate.

      • sweptarea

        You two do know, don’t you, that Hyundai and Kia are the same corporation ? And the underpinnings of the two vehicles are the same… ?
        .

  • Karl

    I don’t want to blame the Unions but one cannot help but think that this is sabotage and downright negligence! Ford invested so much money into that Chicago plant only to have shoddy workmanship to show for it. Maybe the Big 3 needs to follow the imports rule book and relocate some of these plants to right to work States. Some of these people are hell bent on destroying these American companies.

  • Lloyd Anthony D Peters

    That Chicago plant is located in the South Side/South Burbs. And I’ve had the displeasure of growing up and working in some of those hoods. And if they say there’s a “Hostile Work Environment”, I’ll believe it. I’ve seen that plant and it’s a modern marvel that really seems outta place when all that’s around it is power plants and other weird industrial stuff. (come to think of it. Maybe it’s right at home. Lol) but is also a major employer of that gigantic part of town. You can’t close it, but it’s placement is the problem.

    • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

      Why is the placement a problem?

      • Alduin

        Shitcago.

  • xDRAN0x

    Overpriced, still heavy af and interior is meh

    • Ben

      Why are we complaining about the weight of a family hauler? Its not like people are racing them up Pikes peak and the mpg is on target for the class. Cutting down on mass would be good for the entire industry, but its not like the Explorer’s weight is a glaring problem with this particular model.

    • TED Schmitt

      But if it was light weight folks would gripe about it being a death trap.

  • charlotteharry57

    The last Explorer was no gem, either, with all the claims (many from the police) about exhaust fumes entering the passenger compartment. And the new Escape – built in a totally different plant – has already been recalled. I’m not sure that Hackett is to blame but I haven’t liked the guy from the start.

    • Alduin

      Jim Hackett is a moron and needs to be fired. Mark Fields knew what he was doing.

  • TheBelltower

    This is a 115 year old company. Ford has no excuse. Close this lame factory and move it to the Carolinas like the foreign automakers have done.

    • Ben

      Nearly every manufacture is old as dirt and still makes big mistakes, even Tesla is making pretty big mistakes relative to it’s age. Its just part of the process unfortunately.

      • TheBelltower

        If Ford is having issues with their factory, then they need to address it aggressively. Ford’s bond rating has been cut to junk status. They are not in any position to tolerate this nonsense.

        • Ben

          Agreed, no automaker should have this type of issues. However, unions make it hard for any automaker to address issues aggressively or in a timely manner. Too much red tape.

          • TheBelltower

            Exactly.

  • Mr. EP9

    Only Ford can screw up in a world where SUVs and CUVS print money for manufacturers.

    • Alduin

      Jeeps have terrible build quality aswell.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    It’s a pity. I love that model

  • kachuks

    Time to pump up those fleet sales.

    • Alduin

      Hertz,Budget and others would want their money back after the nightmare repairs these POS will give them.

  • William rowe

    Car Manufacturers seem to always forget one big cowed , buyers with bad credit but say with good car payment history. Maybe Ford Motor credit should offer reasonable interest low rates under 12% to those buyers to entice them into their showrooms vs another’s showroom.. I just think that is a huge pool of car buyers so many car manufacturers would win by having them boost their car sales .. A person like that may look at these problems with the explorer and say well ford is working with me so I will buy their suv from them…

    • Chris Van Der Merwe

      They already do this. Ford will approve nearly everybody and give them an reasonable rate for their score. However, those people do not normally purchase a 50K SUV.

  • Alduin

    Hahahahaha! hows that union labor working out for you Ford? I knew this POS was going to be problematic long before they launched this “reskinned” model. Explorers have always been junk SUV’s. I’ve also seen brand new Jeep Grand Cherokees with missing seatbelts and mismatched colored door handles. Jeep Wranglers with the wrong side steps and Jeep Cherokees with badges already peeling off. Stay far away from union built American cars. They’re being made by drunk slobs that make even a basic chimp do a better job than these UAW clowns.

    • :/ Yurr

      Jeeps are definitely worse than Ford. But people still buy them like crazy.

      • Alduin

        I guess some people like to spend a lot of money on an inferior product that has a lot of problems.

  • Squeaky_1

    Except for the oddly styled tail lights this looks like a pretty neatly styled thing. Such a shame they are throwing them together from a distance. Looks like a 4WD that ‘could’ have really succeeded well. Makes me think they should have just kept manufacturing in Australia and imported our Territory to America. They could have, but the big brass’s ego didn’t want the superior competition to their junk. Same with sedans and our incredible Falcon – Americans just shut us down – kill the competition even if it is in your own family, apparently. No wonder they’re in the current state they’re in. Same with GM. Exactly the same. Too sad.

    • Matt

      The Territory was not a good car, far worse quality than what Ford USA was building at the time. Falcon would also have been uncompetitive. Territory was plagued by quality issues throughout its lifespan, was too thirsty and had a cheap interior – not to mention it was blandly styled.

    • smartalec

      I had a territory, the quality was pretty average, certainly worse than any Japanese car I have ever had. Performance was good, but it was extremely thirsty. Plus Ford didn’t feel the need to upgrade the Falcon brakes for a much heavier vehicle, I had to get the rotors machined every single service.

  • SteersUright

    As American employees lives get more difficult, the wealth gap increases, and they grow increasingly stressed and unhappy, the quality of the products they produce will logically decrease.

    • john1168

      and then the jobs go to another country. Further increasing the wealth gap, stressing people out more and leading to more unhappiness. A vicious cycle indeed.

    • U8INIT

      Speak on it…

    • sweptarea

      Nothing “logical” about what you wrote. And – the fastest rising wages are those of the American middle class.

      It’s okay to not like the car, but stop lying about the economy.
      .

  • Eric D

    No surprise here…they don’t call them FixOrRepairDaily for no reason.

    • TED Schmitt

      FixOrRepairDaily? Did you just make that up?

      • ChrisInIL

        Found On Road Dead?

        • TED Schmitt

          Another new one?

          • ChrisInIL

            I just came up with it. I’m a regular genius.

        • MD

          First On Race Day

      • Eric D

        No, it is old.

  • DR.FUNK

    I took a test ride in the top trim Aviator a coupla weeks back. The salesdude wanted to be anywhere but the vehicle…when I asked about the quality issues.
    Good looking sled…too bad.

    • :/ Yurr

      The Aviator is very nice, to bad there seats suck.

      • sweptarea

        ‘their’, not ‘there’.
        .

  • XXXTENXIN

    All these problems for a $50,000 explorer? YIKES!! Talk about a rip off.

    • TED Schmitt

      No one is ripped off unless they actually pay for a vehicle with those problems..

  • Craig

    Ford better deal with this ASAP. Like right now. I would shut down the plant and interview every employee to see if I could get a handle on what for WHO the problem is. And then FIRE those ‘problems’.

    • sweptarea

      Good luck firing a UAW member without his having committed an axe murder in front of a videotape machine and ten witnesses.
      .

  • Porkopolis

    It’s tough finding good Leadership in Chicago.

    • Perry F. Bruns

      Weird comment, considering Hackett has a University of Michigan degree and has spent almost his entire professional career in either Detroit or Grand Rapids. He lives in Grand Rapids, and Ford is headquartered in Dearborn.

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