Ford Officially Begins Building New Explorer Sport Trac

The 2001-model Explorer Sport Trac, the newest addition to Ford Motor Company's sport utility and pickup truck lineup, was officially launched February 3rd by the men and women who build it.

"We've got a lot to celebrate," said Louisville Assembly Plant (LAP) Manager John Tankesley. "In addition to Explorer Sport Trac, more than 3,400 employees here build the best-selling four-door Ford Explorer, the two-door Explorer Sport and the Mercury Mountaineer."

As of January 31, Ford had received more than 20,000 dealer orders for the new Explorer Sport Trac.

And we're the only plant producing Explorer Sport Trac," added UAW Local 862 Building Chairman Don Mitchell. "Explorer Sport Trac is not an ordinary vehicle. It combines the benefits of the four-door Explorer with the added usefulness of an open cargo area."

The four-foot-long cargo bed is made of durable sheet molding composite.

It features an optional device that extends the length of the bed as well as an optional, lockable hard tonneau cover. Prices for the 2001-model Explorer Sport Trac will range from $23,050 (for the 4X2 model) to $25,820 (for the 4X4 model), including destination and delivery.

As the name implies, Explorer Sport Trac is the sportiest member of the Explorer family -- catering to customers who are young, active, independent-minded and looking for more fun and adventure than he or she can find in a car.

LAP employees also built best-selling Ford Ranger pickup trucks until April 1, 1999, when they ceased production to free up capacity for the Explorer Sport Trac. (LAP's Ranger production was split between Ford's Ranger plants in Twin Cities, MN and Edison, NJ.) During Ranger production, LAP ran two body shops - one dedicated to producing boxes for the Ranger.