Ford pulled the covers off its all-new 2020 Explorer early this year, with the model entering dealerships over the summer. It’s been a cash cow for the Blue Oval for three decades now, and with the new model reaching nearly $65,000 in fully optioned Platinum trim, it’s certainly become quite expensive. Perhaps that’s why Ford continues to offer some aggressive incentives and discounts for potential Explorer buyers. Perhaps there’s another reason, however, which we’ll mention in a bit.

For now, let's look at these incentives. Ford Authority did some digging and found all kinds of region-specific discounts in major metropolitan areas that can lop off more than $5,000 from the sticker price. Regardless of location, the deal starts with a $2,750 cash discount. From there, New York City residents can also get $2,000 trade assistance, or choose 0.9 percent financing with up to $3,500 in deals. In Miami and Los Angeles the trade assistance is only $1,000, and the 0.9 percent finance rate is combined with a lower $2,500 discount as well. That is, for Miami anyway --  In L.A. you can get that discount with zero-percent financing for five years.


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The biggest straight-up discount comes from Detroit, where the $2,750 cash deal can be combined with $2,520 in trade assistance. That totals $5,250 in discounts, or you can finance at 0.9 percent for five years and take a $4,020 price cut. It should be noted that all these deals are for XLT and Limited models only, with Detroit’s big discount only available on the Explorer XLT. Also, most deals expire on December 2, which is just a week and a half away as of this posting.

Now for that other reason possibly behind these incentives. In short, Explorer sales are in the toilet through 2019. As of Ford’s Q3 statement through October, Explorer sales are down 30 percent compared to 2018. In the third quarter of 2019, the Explorer was down nearly 50 percent compared to the same period last year. In fact, Ford has sold more Fusion sedans this year than Explorers. With the company taking steps to drop all sedans in its U.S. market, we suspect more than a few executives in Dearborn are seriously concerned by these numbers right now.

Perhaps that’s why we’re seeing massive discounts on the brand new Explorer.

Gallery: 2020 Ford Explorer: First Drive

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