Ford has sold its seven-millionth Explorer in the US, sealing the vehicle's position as America's favourite SUV.

The model went on sale when US buyers were obsessed with minivans, offering family-hauling capability not found in most vehicles, and a design that captured the imagination of a generation. The V6-powered Explorer featured excellent interior space, and upscale Explorer models - the Eddie Bauer edition at launch and later, a Limited version - proved to be extremely popular.

Today, Explorer sales remain strong. Through the first 10 months of 2014, US sales were up more than 6% compared to 2013. The Explorer is also proving successful outside of the US, where it is now sold in more than 100 markets. Ford expects to export 56,000 from the Chicago assembly plant to markets worldwide in 2014.