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October 5, 2008


Boxy Ford Flex isn't selling as expected in brutal market

BY SARAH A. WEBSTER
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

When Ford Motor Co. showed off the production version of the Ford Flex last year at the New York auto show, hopes couldn't be higher for the boxy, three-row crossover.

The Flex represented a daring new design ethos and business strategy for the struggling automaker, which was making plans to bounce back from a record $12.6-billion loss in 2006.

There were even whispers among some of the company's executives that the Flex could become a new icon for Ford, which is known best for its F-Series pickups and Mustang sports car.

By most accounts, the Ford Flex, which began arriving in showrooms in June, is a beautiful vehicle, even if some consider the design polarizing. Experts told the Free Press they loved it, as did customers who bought one.

But why aren't more customers biting?

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081005/BUSINESS01/810050383
 

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I like the Flex. I simply don't need a vehicle that big.
 

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I haven't seen one yet in person, but a few friends have asked me about it, because they had seen it. The people who have asked me about it like it, and seem shocked that it's a Ford.
 

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I've seen a few in my neck of the woods but the lousy economy could be playing a factor in the less than expected sales
 

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I haven't seen any on the road here in Honolulu. I've only seen them at the Ford dealer. Frankly, I find the design, bland and boring.
 

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Personally, I think the Flex is too big. Something like the Freestyle/Taurus X was just about right. with the correct styling.

The Flex is entirely too close to being a mini-van.
 

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Personally, I think the Flex is too big. Something like the Freestyle/Taurus X was just about right. with the correct styling.

The Flex is entirely too close to being a mini-van.
I agree. I thought that with the flat top it has that it wouldn't appear so big in person but that's just not the case. In person it looks very large and the flat top just makes it look even longer. I think if the exact same design was used but in a size about 80% of what it currently is I think it would have been much more succesfull.
 

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My wife, who owns a Freestyle, does not care for the Flex. She appreciates the interior but hates the exterior. Looks like we are definately future lambda owners. She prefers Enclave, but mentions that she like the Outlook as well.

On a recent drive from Austin, TX to Huntsville, AL I saw plenty of Flexes... on dealer lots.
 

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I have said from the day they revealed this thing that it would never sell 70K units a year. I don't care how well or bad the economy may be at the time.

It is too polarizing to sell en mass like Ford was thinking it would. Its a nice vehicle; great interior, excellent content, etc. It is also too expensive; much like the Outlook.
 

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Really? People are gobbling them up here in Ohio...I've seen a ton of them in the wild.
Ya i was gonna say the same thing.. I have seen tons of them here in Toledo.
 
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