Ford Boosts Expedition, Navigator Production Due To High Demand


Last month, the carmaker said USA sales of the Navigator to individual buyers were well over double from January 2017, while Expedition sales were up 57 per cent.

Ford Motor Company can not keep up with demand for its redesigned Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs.

With what could be considered to be the best kind of problem to have, Ford will tack this investment onto a previously announced investment into the Kentucky plant, which now churns out F-Series Super Duty pickup trucks, bringing the grand total to $900 million in new investment.

The Drive reached out to Ford and inquired about its initial production goals, and if it originally underestimated customer demand.

Retail sales of the vehicles skyrocketed in January, up 59 percent for the Expedition and 132 percent for the Navigator.

"People are buying more SUVs", Joe Hinrichs, president of global operations at Ford, told Maria Bartiromo in an interview on "Mornings with Maria" on Monday.

Expedition retail sales were up almost 57% last month and vehicles are spending only seven days on dealer lots.

Expedition also is off to a strong start, with the top-of-the-line Platinum trim models representing 29 percent of sales - pushing transaction price increases up $7,800 in January.

Customers are trading in Land Rover and Mercedes vehicles and around 85% of buyers choose high end Black Label and Reserve models.

That facility will increase assembly line speed and help the company reach its new production goals.

To ensure customers can get vehicles as quickly as possible, Kentucky Truck Plant assembly line workers are working overtime and voluntary weekend shifts.

In particular the automaker is finding exceptional demand for its most expensive version of the two vehicles. A data analytics hub includes seven big-screen TVs that provide minute-by-minute updates, letting plant officials know whether production is meeting hourly targets or whether there is a concern on the line that should be immediately addressed.

The use of aluminum in the new Expedition/Navigator required an extensive renovation of the plant. It now employs more than 8,400 people, including approximately 8,100 hourly employees.