The first "full-production" Ford Explorer built outside the U.S. took place April 11 in Russia. Previously, only knock-down versions of Explorers had been built anywhere outside of the U.S. Knock-down production means partially assembled vehicles are imported from the home plant—in this case, Ford’s plant in Chicago—along with the parts needed to complete them, and then fully assembled at the local facility. The full-production plant is located in Elabuga, Republic of Tatarstan. The plant is owned by a joint venture between Ford and Russia-based Sollers. Ford says the Russia-made Explorers will be manufactured at the same level of efficiency and to the same quality standards as those built at the Chicago Assembly plant. Ford was able to significantly reduce investment costs and accelerate tooling and equipment installations in the Elabuga plant by using existing tool designs from its global tool shops. The implementation team visited several Ford facilities around the world to learn best practices for employing the global Ford Production System in the Ford Sollers plant.