Ford had two high-profile electric vehicle reveals set to follow the F-150 Lightning's splash, but Explorer and Aviator EVs aren't coming for a little while longer. According to an Automotive News report on Friday, the automaker delayed both vehicles by roughly 18 months to focus on the Mustang Mach-E instead.
Citing a leaked supplier memo, the two new SUVs were meant to begin production at the same Mexico-based production facility as the Mustang Mach-E. However, delaying the pair of vehicles gives the Mustang-badged EV far more room to expand production. In an interview with the publication, Ford Chief Operating Officer Lisa Drake said the entire plant will be dedicated to the Mustang Mach-E. That'll give the carmaker up to 200,000 units of production annually without an Explorer EV or Aviator EV taking up space.
Ford declined to comment on the future vehicles named, but said in a statement, "We have unprecedented demand for Mustang Mach-E and we are going to scale production quickly to meet demand. We are now planning to utilize the entire Cuautitlan plant for production of Mach-E. We will increase production starting in 2022 and expect to reach 200,000-plus units per year by 2023."
The decision means a forthcoming Explorer and Aviator EV duo will likely find a home for production in the US or Canada. Automotive News rightly categorizes the decision as a possible flashpoint for the United Auto Workers and Canada's Unifor union when labor contract negotiations begin in late 2023. According to the memo, both of the electric SUVs will enter production in late 2024, a delay from a previous mid-2023 timeline.