Everything is bigger in Texas, including the appetite for sport utility vehicles. While demand for Ford SUVs is climbing across the United States, drivers from El Paso to Houston continue to show why the Lone Star State is so crucial to automakers' SUV portfolios.
Celebrating its position as the best-selling vehicle brand in Texas, Ford unveiled to crowds at the State Fair of Texas four new special-edition models designed to give buyers of large SUVs more options in the vehicles they love.
Expedition sales in Texas - Ford's biggest market for large SUVs - represent 25 percent of retail sales nationally and outnumber combined sales in Florida and California, the second- and third-largest Expedition markets.
"Texans love their SUVs and these four special-edition models were created very much with them in mind," said Craig Patterson, large SUV marketing manager at Ford. "Each of these vehicles is a proof point that Ford takes seriously the need to continuously freshen an SUV lineup that is so popular with so many."
All four new special-edition models shown at the State Fair of Texas are available for order later this year. They are:
Expedition Stealth Edition features gloss-black accessories for a cool yet upscale appearance over the current Limited series. It rolls on 22-inch premium black-painted aluminum wheels and includes continuously controlled damping. Gloss-black features include grille, mirror caps, roof rails, running boards, tailgate applique, rear bumper skid plate and hitch cover, headlamp housing, fog lamp bezels and taillamp housing. Black "Expedition" badging adorns the front, while the tailgate features a black "Limited" badge. Door handles are body color, and red interior stitching accents the interior
Expedition Texas Edition adds 22-inch wheels and new Texas Edition badging to build upon the existing Special Edition Package available for Limited models that already offers a collection of features to make hauling, towing and parking easier. These include the Cargo Package, Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package and enhanced active park assist
Explorer Limited Luxury Edition offers available appearance upgrades on the Limited series. Explorer owners can opt for 20-inch premium painted machined aluminum wheels, multi-contour seats with Active Motion(R), Nirvana leather seats with micro-perforation, an upgraded leather steering wheel, door trim with leather inserts and chrome mirror caps
Explorer Desert Copper Edition upgrades an XLT model to include 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, chrome mirror caps, Ebony Black leather-trimmed first- and second-row seats and door trim panel. The interior features copper highlights and stitching and Ebony Black vinyl third-row seats with copper accents
By expanding choices in its large SUV lineup, Ford looks to continue offering more of the vehicles that consumers say they want. More and more drivers are turning away from traditional sedans in favor of larger trucks and SUVs that offer more space, amenities and capability. A 2017 Ford report found that millennials are beginning to move to the suburbs and buy larger SUVs.
"People want SUVs, they've told us that," Patterson said. "Whether an adventure-minded individual, a couple who needs room to haul home improvement supplies or a family loading up for a trip across the country, SUVs are in demand. Ford wants to have an SUV available that caters to any circumstance."
Last year, Ford set a sales record when it closed 2017 with nearly 800,000 SUVs sold. In the past six years, Ford has grown its U.S. SUV sales by 37 percent, hitting a number of milestones across its lineup of SUV nameplates:
Edge recorded best-ever total annual sales of nearly 143,000 vehicles
Escape recorded best-ever total annual sales of more than 300,000 vehicles
Explorer recorded its best sales year in more than a decade with 238,056 SUVs sold