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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 11:57 AM
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Re: Mercedes-Benz Mulls Return of R Class

The Freestyle/Taurus X/Flex also exist for a number of curious reasons. Ford wanted a single platform to underpin a sedan and SUV and we ended up with products that ultimately missed the mark in both segments for many reasons (design, proportions, interior packaging, customer appeal). Ford also wanted a transitional 3-row crossover that still left room for the Explorer and minivan. Ultimately Ford failed to properly judge the trend early on and made some bad decisions (a common problem back in the day). The decision to use D3/D4 instead of CD3 was very controversial at the time and clearly was well founded considering the packaging struggles with the platform. GM ultimately set the trend with the success of the Lambda Crossovers and killed the BOF GMT SUV early on while Ford stumbled its way toward the D4 Explorer we finally got years later. From my prospective, Flex and MKT remain big Ford mistakes even if they are well made mistakes.

Flex is also a VERY rare example of a Ford concept begetting a Ford production vehicle, it's always the other way around in the modern era. It's a car that never made it through Ford's customer-focused research process and that's always a dangerous place to begin a product, as we ultimately saw with its failure. It's a lesson Detroit has learned over and over again.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 12:01 PM
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Re: Mercedes-Benz Mulls Return of R Class

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Originally Posted by DetroitBORG View Post
The Freestyle/Taurus X/Flex also exist for a number of curious reasons. Ford wanted a single platform to underpin a sedan and SUV and we ended up with products that ultimately missed the mark in both segments for many reasons (design, proportions, interior packaging, customer appeal). Ford also wanted a transitional 3-row crossover that still left room for the Explorer and minivan. Ultimately Ford failed to properly judge the trend early on and made some bad decisions (a common problem back in the day). The decision to use D3/D4 instead of CD3 was very controversial at the time and clearly was well founded considering the packaging struggles with the platform. GM ultimately set the trend with the success of the Lambda Crossovers and killed the BOF GMT SUV early on while Ford stumbled its way toward the D4 Explorer we finally got years later. From my prospective, Flex and MKT remain big Ford mistakes even if they are well made mistakes.
Don't you mean, Ford 'stumbled' it's way to the FAR MORE SUCCESSFUL Explorer.


And this is the reason for much of GM's 'trend setting success'



And although the Lambda triplets did not grace the Top 16 list above in 2013, they certainly did their fair share when that product was relevant.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 12:11 PM
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Re: Mercedes-Benz Mulls Return of R Class

You do understand that the Lambdas collectively outsell Explorer right? Even if you throw in Flex and MKT.

And I don't see any Lambdas in that list you're posting.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-21-2015, 02:37 PM
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Re: Mercedes-Benz Mulls Return of R Class

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That's because the Flex is a redesign of the Taurus X and the gap was because they moved production from Chicago to Oakville...
I'll stick with the Much simpler story that the Explorer is the 3rd gen directly following the Stylefree & TauruX on the exact same assemblyline they were built on


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...Flex is also a VERY rare example of an actual Ford concept getting toproduction, it's always the other way around in the modern era...
cough*MKR*cough

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...It's a lesson Dearborn has never (possibly) Will never learn(ed) over and over again.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-22-2015, 05:07 PM
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Re: Mercedes-Benz Mulls Return of R Class

Part of the issues I see with the Flex is that it was kind of seen as an alternative to the traditional minivan, a segment that is shrinking. Despite the fact the Flex looks cool as **** and is way faster (Ecoboost) than it has a right to be, I think it was just a matter of bad timing. The MKT is a little simpler to see why it has more or less failed, it has got to be one of the most polarizing vehicles on the road. The looks are like nothing else and straight up a love it or hate it situation.
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