Live Chat with the Ford Explorer Chief Engineer

By Ford Social Member

The excitement around the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer is continuing after its official debut on July 26, 2010. Jim Holland, Chief Engineer for the Ford Explorer, has been living that excitement for a long time, and is now in the final sprint to prepare the vehicle for production. Join him here for a live chat at 1:00 p.m. EST on Friday, August 6, 2010.

Live Chat with Ford Explorer Chief Engineer, Jim Holland

While attending college as an architecture student, Jim worked as a rough carpenter in the construction trades. This experience taught him the value of working swiftly, without losing sight of the tiniest of details.

Jim was charged with the reinvention and repositioning of the Ford Explorer, the SUV that defined the segment in the 1990s. Like building a custom home, this requires coordination of multiple teams, perspectives, resources and time lines.

Because one third of Explorer production is earmarked for export, Jim and the program team balanced global customer preferences, while engineering the vehicle to meet the most stringent requirements of each market where it is sold.

Jim brings this global perspective, having served as Chief Engineer of Global Hybrid Vehicle Strategy before his Explorer assignment. Prior to his hybrid work, he served as Chief Engineer at Land Rover for three programs under the top-of-the-line Range Rover nameplate. These posts brought significant influence to his Explorer role.
Judy Mantle 12/10/2010
Did the engineers add the fill tube for the transmission? What are the service requirements for the service on the transmission? And is the unit closed with synthetic oil? I have a 2002 explorer
that experienced replacement of the transmission due to servicing the unit via the bottom fill.
I will not buy another exlporer if the engineers have not added the fill tube from the top with a dip stick. Just a serviced minded driver.
Gary Burdick 11/20/2010
I understand automatic windshield wipers are available on the 2011 Explorer. When they automatically turn on will the headlights automatically turn on as well? This is a requirement in California and several other states.
I would also like to know if day time running lights are standard or available. I had to go to an after market product for my 2005 F-350 and don't have them on my Expedition. Wouldn't want any vehicle with them.
mike mahoney 10/26/2010
I have had 4 Explorers and currently haver a 2005 that I am thinking of replacing with a 2011 model. The 2005 (no other model that I had) seems to have a large gap between the gas pedal and the brake pedal. I often miss the brake and have almost had several accidents. As a result I am very cautious aout driving it and use my Escape more frequently. With so much power in the Explorer this has been a negative experience for me. Am I alone in this area? The Excape on the otherhad has a much smaller gap between pedals.
NELSON BOSE 09/26/2010
When will the V6 with echo boost be available.
nita 08/27/2010
would like to know if you can tow flat bbehind a motorhome and can not find a anwser any where ? would some let me know?
Thomas G Fitzgerald 08/24/2010
Just wondering. Is the windshield post, glass and firewall the same on the new Explorer as on the Flex. In the pictures I have seen, they look very similar.
Rob Ward 08/22/2010
Exaclty right, they claim that they can do just as well, but lets face it the reason SUV's are cool is because one they are capable vehicles, two they looked tough and aggressive, the new explorer crossover looks like a bloated pig there is not a good line on it. It looks like if it saw mud it would turn and cry. But they won't listen to us.

Why is it front wheel drive? If you have 4x4 you don't need front wheel drive, yet another link to its minivan roots.
Dom 08/14/2010
I own a 2010 FX4 truck is the shocks and springs the same as any other 4X4?I would like to know if i could replace the shocks to a smoother riding shock the ride is to hard.Ilove the FX truck but i dont like the firm ride.
William 08/13/2010
Will the new 2011 Explorer be available in a diesel engine any time soon?
Janine 08/07/2010
Hello Jim,
When is the new v-6 engine being released? (in the f-150's** you have a new one in the super duties) this is the truck we are wanting to buy but are unable to find one! Are we having to wait another 2 years????? (by then we'll probably go else where) probably wont have the funds nor be able to afford it by then!!
byron 08/06/2010
i sure hope the engineers took in the idea of the mechanics having to work on these new vehicles after they are put together and they would know if they had to do the wrenching themselves i am certain of that cause some of the stuff you have to do is a real pain in the you know what.
Gabriel 08/06/2010
Hello Jim
think about bringing explorer to Argentina, greetings.thank you
ngwako 08/05/2010
i am writing from South Africa and am a huge fan of Ford. will we see the Exploxer in the South African market any time soon? is it part of the one ford startegy too like the fiesta and the focus? i really love the car and think it would provide some competition to the Land Rover Discovery and Toyota Fortuner.
Mr. Santiago 08/03/2010
I have been writing comments and suggestion to Ford for sometime now, what I saw and have seen that was not right with Ford and what I have seen that is good and looks like improvements. Although, I presently do not own a Ford vehicle I am still waiting for the perception of American still being not great to somewhat diminish, because somehow there are still non believers. Also comments about Unions and the labor force keep coming up despite the improvements. I would like to see a Ford commercial that stands on its own, smart, cool and not bland like I still see you commercials. Also can Ford truly win best in class and have a year when quality control is the best of any manufacture and let it be known especially by word of mouth. I am still not hearing that, although I am waiting and I do mention Ford in my conversation as improving somehow perception is the rebuttle I get in return. Something is still missing and it must be address so that all doubt are removed from the mess Ford actually caused itself sometime ago. I truly want Ford to exceed even my inception of what a vehicle should be, so again good luck, let Ford win and most important regain dominance by becoming no.1, without a doubt.
DUANE PUTNAM 07/30/2010
Here we go again. Ford is moving away from what sets them apart form GM. Putting the new Explorer on a car body is turning it into a newer version of a minivan. Americans need and want vehicles that can tow 3500 lbs and get over 20 mpg. All of these crossover SUV's are nothing more than minivans by another name. We need real trucks and more choices than pick-ups. Cross over SUV's just don't cut it. If I don't want a pick-up truck but I eant a Ford, what should I buy to tow 3500 lbs or more?
Thad 07/28/2010
When will a stronger engine be available, 2012? I want to be able to order WITHOUT the third row seat. Congrats on a job well done.
Live Chat with the Ford Explorer Chief Engineer
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