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Rising income, growing families drive buyers to big people haulers, SUVs
Automotive News China



Yang Jian | 2014/5/9

SHANGHAI -- Full-sized people haulers and SUVs used to be a tiny and stagnant segment of China's vast passenger vehicle market. In the past, only rich people and businesses could afford those vehicles, but times have changed.

These days, rising numbers of young Chinese consumers are buying big vehicles, especially large multipurpose vehicles and SUVs.
 

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Ford is a great position to take advantage of this growing large people mover/SUV market. The popular Explorer and Edge is currently exported into China at a consistently growing rate.

The current S-MAX already sold in China will soon be replaced by the new production version of the new S-MAX Concept, along with the new Everest Concept set to reach the China market.



But this growing trend in China for large people haulers and SUVs may be what gives the 7 passenger Ford Flex SUV a big boost. Exporting the current model from the US would give Ford an immediate edge in a market where 6-7 passenger vehicles are a need. Especially since many households consist of parents and grandparents. The low entry height, spacious interior, abundant cargo space and loaded with tech makes it ideal.
 

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Time to shine, Ford! Show them what real SUVs are and get the F-150 to china for the working people. Take advantage that the car tastes in China are so similar to the US market.

Can Ford become the largest carmaker in a not so distant future? We'll see... :angel
 

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^ and now I'm wondering if China-production could help make sense out of the Chicago(Explorer)/Oakville(Flex) conundrum??

and
^ :thumb: gives me an excuse to re-wonder about a Galaxy de-paired from the S-Max and maybe hooked up with a nextgen-Flex...

...would think there'd be a much larger demographic in China for a rethunk Galaxy than for the current one in Yurpland
forgot to include the AVIATOR!
 

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Here is a 9/2011 article from Autohome.com.

('Rough' Chinese to English Translation by Google Translate.)

Recently, we received a set of the Ford Flex domestic road test spy photos from the Internet. Ford Flex generation version will be launched this year, but still in the road test stage. The exposure of the existing version of the Flex generation ago , supposedly new models in the last year will be released , then import the old models was extremely reasonable. We speculate that the road test or adaptation , or the personal behavior of individual importer early , is not expected to officially imported by the import of large quantities of Ford China .

Unlike the Ford Explorer SUV positioning Explorer, in front of this Ford Flex fit design looks more like a SUV and MPV , although tough appearance have SUV qualities, but the normalized located Crossover crossover should be more appropriate .

From 2005 Ford Fairlane concept car Ford Flex uses a typical box style , whether it is the engine compartment or rear bodywork and window glass , have adopted the Founder straight shape . Ford Flex and Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX collinear production, are based on the Ford Taurus X platform was built, but has a large body size , body length of 5130mm and 2994mm wheelbase exceeded the explorers Explorer models.

****Although the country is approaching the exposure of cash generation models, but the tail is displayed Titanium version , it is after the SEL and Limited versions of the new increase in the top version models. Front grille canceled Ford logo , using the "FLEX" words and Land Rover cars similar to the forefront in the hood plus . Alloy wheels upgrade from 19 -inch to 20 -inch 10-spoke satin specification alloy wheels , tire specifications for the 255/4 5 R20.

****Titanium version of the interior with carbon black-based color, with gray suede chairs AlcAntara surface , and replace wood trim and metal decorative welcome pedal , so that the whole is more sporty , but also closer to the style and appearance . The old section of the center console design no new MyFordTouch multimedia system looks edgy, inlaid mahogany panel dashboard is very old-fashioned charm of American cars .

****Ford Flex boasts the most spacious in its class legroom in the second row and the second row of seats can be adjusted after the right amount of slip . The third -row seat space is a lot more than many excellent seven -style SUV models. Seats can also be completely down to form a flat storage space , plus Flex Founder roof design , it has a good storage capacity.

****Other parts, Ford is its sound system with HD Radio , one-touch power-folding third-row seat . Security configuration, in addition to airbags, Ford Flex for each location are also equipped with curtain airbags, and configure the set called "Roll Stability Control (RSC)" roll stability control systems.

****Power, the cash used Ford Flex is the old section 3.5L Duratec V6 engine, maximum power 262 hp and maximum torque of 336N · m, seemed more than a generation of 3.5L Ti-VCT engine ( maximum power of 290 hp and maximum torque 345N · m) in the power and fuel economy on some weak .

****While approaching the Ford Flex replacement , but for the Chinese market , or a new subdivision models, may locate similar only Mercedes-Benz R -Series models , but both very different in style . If this year's launch of the new generation of the Ford Flex models can also be introduced into the Chinese market as soon as possible . So the Ford Edge, Explorer, Flex three high-end imported cars will make Ford SUV and crossover greatly enhance the competitiveness of the field . ( Text / Leo Carreras )

****Editor's Note : Just like the Ford F-150 is similar in some of Ford's large car fans still heavy in weight . The car will be very high demand for space , cheerful, human individuality and choice . As the final selling price is likely to be in the $ 1 million or so.
 

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There is something happening with 2015 Flex production.

The MY2014 had production start date of May 2013. It is now May 2014, 12 months in, and no MY2015 production date set. My Ford contact stated the MY2014 Flex will be a carryover for MY2015. If that's the case production should begin this month with color changes and minor trim level updates.

It could also be that Ford may be pushing the Flex production date back to 4th quarter, like the other large SUV siblings(Expedition/Navigator).
 

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There is something happening with 2015 Flex production.

The MY2014 had production start date of May 2013. It is now May 2014, 12 months in, and no MY2015 production date set. My Ford contact stated the MY2014 Flex will be a carryover for MY2015. If that's the case production should begin this month with color changes and minor trim level updates.

It could also be that Ford may be pushing the Flex production date back to 4th quarter, like the other large SUV siblings(Expedition/Navigator).
No more orders are being taken for Flex.
Flex is done.

I will miss what is one of the best family vehicles ever made from Ford.

And to those who hated it, I say to you, bite me!!! At least until you actually freaking drive one.
 

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Just confirmed with my contact with Ford Utility Vehicle Communications.

The Flex is not going anywhere. "Flex is selling well and will continue to be an important part of our utility lineup - small, medium and large." :clap:


Flex sales are up over 7% for 2014 and steadily gaining market share in the all important California market.
 

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I can easily see the Flex (or reasonable equivalent) going either way - tho with China 'driving' the industry, I lean towards a replacement
BUT
"an important part of our utility lineup"
sure sounds an AWFUL lot like Mr. M's comments about Mercury just days before the Hiatus Announcement, summer 2010

&
Bloggin, is this source a recent acquisition???
 

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Update:

2015 Flex and MKT Production Dates! :thumb:

Order Banks Open: 15 Sep 2014

Start of Production: 17 Nov 2014

Also confirmed that the Ford Flex is NOT imported to China currently.
 

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Update:

2015 Flex and MKT Production Dates! :thumb:

Order Banks Open: 15 Sep 2014

Start of Production: 17 Nov 2014

Also confirmed that the Ford Flex is NOT imported to China currently.
GREAT news, I don't want it to go! 90% of SUV/CUV drivers never get near dirt, so they'd do better in something like the Flex...or the Focus Wagon, is is miles more attractive than the languishing C-Max.
 

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time to sell the Navigator there!!
Yeah, with the news that Lincoln is going to focus on China instead of Europe (good idea, in my opinion) - they should get the Navigator there right away... You know the Escalade is going to start popping up there.
 

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Yeah, with the news that Lincoln is going to focus on China instead of Europe (good idea, in my opinion) - they should get the Navigator there right away... You know the Escalade is going to start popping up there.
I think Lincoln is going to China with it's newest and best. MKZ, MKC, MKX, 'large sedan', then new Navigator when launched. No recycling that will tarnish the Lincoln image for the new huge Chinese market.

But the Ford brand can send current generation models like the Flex and Expedition to expand the lineup and continue to gain market share.
 

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Yeah, with the news that Lincoln is going to focus on China instead of Europe (good idea, in my opinion) - they should get the Navigator there right away... You know the Escalade is going to start popping up there.

Yes, it would make sense, but only for the next Navi which could be designed globally (emissions, RHD, etc.)
And there is an MKT replacement coming too, so that could another option.
 
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