I really, really like the Ford Flex. It's daring styling, cavernous, stylish and comfortable interior, and available EcoBoost engine are all true difference makers in the sea-of-beige segment in which it competes. Despite being a thoroughly wonderful crossover, sales never quite lived up to the very lofty (and unrealistic, I might add) expectations. With the Flex's platform-mate Explorer now a home run success, is there room for the funky Flex to stick around?
Full-year sales for 2009 totaled a very respectable 38,717, followed by 34,227 in 2010 and slipping to 27,428 in 2011. Carrying an average transaction price around $40,000, Flex's smaller sales numbers could easily be offset by a more generous profit margin. Ford also has claimed a Flex victory in attracting a very high conquest rates and coastal sales; a perennial trouble spot for the blue oval brand.
A restyled version of the Flex goes into production next week at Ford's Oakville, Ontario assembly plant alongside the smaller Edge crossover, as well as Lincoln's MKX and MKT. This refreshed Flex should carry through the 2015 model year, but what about after that?
IMO, Ford has too many crossovers, but this isn't the one I would kill. The Edge and Explorer are far too close in range. I'd kill the edge, and have it be Escape, Explorer, Flex, in that order.
You would kill one of Ford`s best sellers . . . Great! Ford sold 14,058 Edges last month scoring a net gain of 13.5% over March 2011, even outselling the Explorer.
I would kill none, each one has a function and each one seem to be performing instead of having one or two products trying to be jacks of all trades. Also Ford's flexible plants and on time production systems allow for not so hot sellers like the Flex to be produced profitable. I am not going to be second guessing Ford's product planing at this point.
I would love if they made a true Bronco like the one from the 60s
Current Car: 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Reserve Ice Storm 2.0h CVT
2008 Ford Focus SE Sedan White 2.0L Duratec I4 4 Speed Automatic
2004 Lincoln LS V6 Luxury Cashmere Tri-Coat 3.0L Duratec V6 5 Speed Automatic with SST
1999 Mercury Sable LS Premium Toreador Red Clear Coat Metalic 3.0L Duratec V6 4 Speed Automatic