As Ford prepares to renew or replace 75% of its US fleet by the end of next year, the automaker is slowly revealing the fate of many of its fan favorites. So far, Ford has said goodbye to the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion and Taurus sedans. Now, it will bid adieu to the Ford Flex, which is marketed in the United States, Canada, and in the Middle East.
The Ford Flex, a full-size crossover SUV, has been built by the Ford Motor Company since the 2009 model year. The Flex predates the Ford Taurus X and Freestyle sharing their drivetrains and using an updated platform. The style of the Flex, designed by Peter Horbury, was reminiscent of the MINI, while the horizontal grooves in its doors and tailgate evoked a Woodie, a station wagon with body elements that simulate wood popular from the 1930s to the 1970s.
On Monday, Ford announced that the Ford Flex will be no more after 11 years. In the past decade, Ford has sold 296,000 of the crossover that many have been at a loss to describe. The company says the boxy wagon has helped determine how it designs similar vehicles. The Flex, which seats seven people across three rows of seats, also featured 20 cubic feet of space behind each row, as well as, 83.2 cubic feet of cargo space when the seats were folded down.
"It had both crossover and minivan elements in a hip, trendy package that stood out from what was becoming a really boring minivan segment," said Chris Kessler, Ford Flex marketing manager. "Its design traced its roots to the traditional family station wagons that many of our customers remember growing up with," while embracing the new design of SUVs, he added.
As of now, Ford has no plans to directly replace the Flex, however, the automaker does have at least three new crossovers and SUVs in development. It has announced a "Baby Bronco" for those looking for something more daring than the new Escape. In addition, a "Mustang-inspired" electric SUV will launch within the next month and the standard Bronco is set to return.
Meanwhile, the Oakville assembly plant in Ontario, Canada, where the Flex is manufactured, will still build the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus. The Flex's closest corporate relative, the Lincoln MKT, also ceased production last month.