• Oct 28, 2008
Click above for more high-res pics of the Ford Flex

Ford's boxy new Flex crossover wagon is far from meeting its sales expectations. And while part of its slow sales can be chalked up to the overall downturn in the auto market, and specifically sales of large 'utes, some believe that there could be more than meets the eye to this particular story.

Up to this point, Jim Farley, Ford's main marketer, has been running a very stylized advertising campaign to accompany the launch of the new people mover, and certain members of Ford's board reportedly believe that a more mainstream or conservative launch would have worked out better.

Farley defends his approach to The Detroit News, and he points out that half of all Flex's are sold to conquest buyers from other brands, especially from foreign-made minivans. Plus, more are sold loaded with all the goodies and are going for prices in the high 30's. Regardless, expect to see more ads touting the Flex's roominess and sound core family values moving forward.


[Source: The Detroit News]


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  • 53 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      My reason for not buying: I don't know 6 other people, much less 6 people I want to drive. Heh. Ad is on right now for one as I type.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hate to say I told you so, but the Flex was destined to share its fate with the Dodge Magnum wagon even before the gas hit $4-5/gal. Once the minimal demand was met for a vehicle that looks like a giant Mini Clubman fitted with an interior ripped from Grandpa's Taurus, sales would tank.

      Coming next from Ford - I told you so Part II: the Lincoln MKT.
      • 6 Years Ago
      For me personally, had the Flex been short wheel based I would be ALL over it. It just doesn't look right to me as a long wheel based vehicle.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think it was International "Travel-all".
      and Yes, there is a similarity.
      The flex has this stupid hypnotic ad that does not show thecar off well. Also shades of the Chrysler Pacifica at its debut, Flex is too optioned-up and thus too expensive. Put in some fabric seats and ditch some electronics and the third-seat, offer it for 22,000 incl the cash back, and then you'll see some sales.In car crazy so -Cal, I have seen just three. and they look pretty good driving around.there is a market for it. I was sure that the concet car was smaller and sure enough it as orig planned for a smaller chassis
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am a true Ford fan and praise them for stepping outside the box with the Flex however; with that said its just not attractive at all. I really do love the features and interior.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It looked better when it was a concept (fairlane). It had higher ground clearance which would be great in the snow. The suicide doors were kind of cool. the Flex became so watered down by the time it got to production it looked like my parents station wagon in the 80s.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's funny, because while making my comment above I kept looking at the pic and thinking of how much it looked like a modern day version of a station wagon with a bit more headspace...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree. The Fairlane was really good-looking, and to me, Ford just put the Fairlane concepts' body on the Freestyle/TaurusX.

        It was a recipe for failure, in my opinion.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Houston, we had a problem." I don't think Ford's going to save this one judging by what my neighbour says. He works at the Oakville plant that builds the Flex. Ford laid off 500 workers even before they started and has cut production. They are even talking about having a number of down weeks before the end of the year.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Cause it's butt ugly!
      • 6 Years Ago

      They should have named it the Fairlane.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I thought the ads were "cool" but I too notice it seemed like they were intentionally now showing us the vehicle.

      They need to show people what it does etc -- it is actually a very slick product. The rear seats have oddles of room, it sits high and seem very safe, seat look really comfortable, fuel economy is good if you know what it is, if you don't it looks like poor fuel economy, etc.

      I think that when people go to see the "real" car it is not what they expected -- so the ads are bringing in the wrong people.

      Also, it is a very deluxe vehicle, and they do not echo that well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's not so much that it's ugly, but it's boring. The interior is nice, but then again the Aztec wasn't bad either but the outside killed it. Nothing about the shape of a stretched xB would make me want to be seen in that. Different for different's sake is not always a good thing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Conquest sales are nice but if you don't sell that many it's still pretty silly.

      I've never seen a Flex ad and I still wouldn't buy it even if I needed a 7 passenger vehicle, so it's a little ridiculous to blame it on the ads.
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