The teasing is just about over. On Monday, we’ll know what the 2011 Ford Explorer really looks like.

2011 Ford Explorer (Obstructed View)

Ford is planning a unique launch for the important new vehicle, and they aren’t saying much about it. All we know is that it will include events in several cities, and a lot of “Social Networking.”

“Everyone who is trying to connect with customers and launch new product outside of our industry is finding social media is a great tool for pre-launch,” says Ford sales and marketing VP Jim Farley. “I think it’s about time it came to our industry.”

Ford has already been leaking teaser shots of the 2011 Explorer on Facebook. They promise to unveil complete details on Monday.

Ford is also planning a big celebration at its World Headquarters in Dearborn, and events in several cities. The company not commenting on reports that the main event will be in Chicago, where the new Explorer will be built.

Ford has already said the Explorer will be built on the same platform as the Taurus and the Lincoln MKS, and will have several new technologies, including “inflatable seatbelts” to protect rear seat passengers, and “curve control” to help prevent accidents on curves.

Teaser Photo -- 2011 Explorer

Ford has also promised engines that improve fuel economy by about thirty per cent. The company expected to give more details on Monday, and also give an idea of when the vehicle will be on the market.

Explorer sales are only a fraction of what they were during the mid-90’s, when the Ford would sell more than 400 thousand Explorers a year.

Important vehicles like the Explorer have traditionally been revealed at major auto shows. But auto companies are increasingly looking for their own venues to reveal a vehicle. Ford believes we could see more online launches.

“For certain vehicles, absolutely,” says Ford’s Farley. “For specialty vehicles…I absolutely see that day coming sooner, rather than later.”

Farley saying that the recent “Fiesta Movement” that preceeded the arrival of the Ford Fiesta subcompact was much more cost effective than traditional launches.

“The Fiesta movement changed my mind as much as it changed everyone,” says Farley. “We spent ten cents on the dollar compared to what we normally have to do to get that kind of awareness.”

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