Contact: Mark Bilek
Senior Director of Communications and Technology
Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Office: (630) 424-6082
Cell: (847) 652-0632
Contact: Jennifer Morand
Director of Public Relations and Social Media
Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Office: (630) 424-6084
Cell: (630) 391-1986
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FORD MOTOR COMPANY INTRODUCES THE 2017 EXPLORER XLT SPORT APPERANCE PACKAGE AND THE BRAUNABILITY EXPLORER MXV AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
CHICAGO (February 11, 2016) - The 2016 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview kicked off with the launch of the 2017 Explorer XLT Sport Appearance Package and the BraunAbility Explorer MXV, the first mass-produced wheelchair accessible SUV.
Ford's Mark LaNeve, Ford Motor Company vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service, opened the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) breakfast and discussed the versatility of the Explorer. The new XLT Sport Appearance Package offers buyers the style of the turbocharged Sport trim, but with a naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter V6 engine. The exterior features black trim for the sides and roof rack, and Magnetic Gray highlights the 20-inch wheels, grille, mirror caps and rear. On the inside, Dark Earth Gray leather wraps the seats with a suede trim.
Additionally, Ford discussed its partnership with BraunAbility - a world leader in creating wheelchair-accessible products - to create the BraunAbility Explorer MXV. This version offers an SUV option for those in wheelchairs. At the push of a button, the power rear doors slides and a ramp extends to allow wheelchair access into the vehicle. The person in the wheelchair can be either the driver or the passenger, as the front seats are removable.
"When Braun set out to produce the world's first mass produced wheelchair accessible SUV, they came to Ford," said Mark LaNeve, Ford Motor Company vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. "This is a great example of what we mean when we use our SUV mantra: be unstoppable. These vehicles make you feel like you can do more."
LaNeve further discussed Ford's focus on the growth of the SUV industry and plans to launch four all-new SUVs over the next four years.
"Consumer confidence is high," said LaNeve. "We think that 2016 has every reason to be a very, very strong year for the industry."
He explained key points on what is contributing to the demand of these vehicles. Both millennials and baby boomers are targeted demographics. Making up 16 percent of the market, the millennials are recognized as an impactful force. While both generations are fixated with fuel efficiency, millennials appreciate the spacious SUV interiors for growing families, whereas the baby boomers are attracted to the comfort the vehicle offers.
"Since August of 2015, small SUVs have overtaken small cars," said LaNeve. "They have become the number one vehicle segment by volume."
To watch complete coverage of the 2016 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview press conferences, please visit http://www.ustream.tv/channel/chicago-auto-show-2011. For more information about the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, please visit www.chicagoautoshow.com.
For more information on the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, please visit www.chicagoautoshow.com.
About the Chicago Auto Show
The Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show on the continent, spanning more than 1 million square feet of production, concept, and exotic vehicle exhibit space. In addition to hosting multiple world and North America vehicle debuts, the Chicago Auto Show's First Look for Charity raises more than $2 million annually for 18 vital Chicago organizations in a single night. The 2016 public show will be February 13-21. For more information, visit ChicagoAutoShow.com or Facebook.com/ChicagoAutoShow.
About The Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Founded in 1904, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association is the nation's oldest and largest metropolitan dealer organization. It is comprised of more than 400 franchised new-car dealers and an additional 150 allied members. The group's dealer members employ about 19,000 people in the metropolitan area. The association has produced the world famous Chicago Auto Show since 1935. For more information please visit CATA.info.
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