Ford Flex And Lincoln MKT Dropped As Automaker Focuses On Faster Growing Segments

The Ford Flex has always been an oddity as it isn’t a minivan or a crossover. However, it was a comfortable family cruiser that “dared to be different.”

Unfortunately, different doesn’t pay the bills and Ford is pulling the plug on the slow-selling wagon. As the automaker announced earlier today, production of the Flex is winding down at the Oakville Assembly Complex – in Ontario, Canada – where the model has been built for more than a decade.

Despite gaining a “loyal following,” the Flex was never popular with consumers. US sales peaked at 38,717 units in 2008 and have been hovering around 20,000 to 22,000 units for the past four years. Those numbers aren’t great and its little surprise Ford decided to retire the Flex to focus “on products in the heart of the fastest-growing segments.”

Also Read: 2013 Ford Flex Nip-and-Tuck brings a New Face and More Powerful V6

Over the course of its 11-year run, Ford sold more than 296,000 Flex wagons. The company also flexed its marketing muscle in an attempt to make the model hip.  As part of this effort, Nelly, Funkmaster Flex and Chip Foose debuted customized versions of the wagon at the 2008 SEMA Show.

While those efforts weren’t too successful, the Flex is a lot more memorable than the Lincoln MKT which was quietly phased out earlier this month. Often seen being used as a hearse, MKT sales topped out at 7,435 units in the United States in 2010. Sales fell consistently after 2012 and the company only moved 2,324 units last year.

Ford and Lincoln didn’t announce direct replacements for the Flex and MKT, but customers will likely be directed to the Explorer and Aviator. The automaker also reiterated plans to replace 75 percent of its current portfolio by the end of 2020.

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  • Six_Tymes

    The Flex was a cool design for its time. Now looks a bit dated. so, smart move Ford. Time for new designs.

  • jfalckt

    Shame the Flex never took off, it was like a new age wagon.

  • I DIDN’T REALIZE THEY STILL MADE THE FLEX. IT HAD A CLEAN CLASSIC DESIGN. IF I NEED A CAR LIKE THAT I’D GO FOR ONE OVER A TRENDY SUV WITH DENTS AND SWOOPS AND BLINKER FLUID VENTS AND FAKE AIR INTAKES AND FLOATING ROOF AND …

  • MayTheBestCarWin05

    Goodbye Ford Flex…for all of us oddballs out there…you will be missed.

  • JRP

    They both look like they needed redesigns in 2015, though I am going to miss the Flex.

  • Rocket

    The MKT could have been killed years ago. The Flex has a relatively small but loyal following, however. And unlike most domestic [non-truck] products, it sells surprising well on the west coast. Maybe sales would have remained stronger if Ford made any kind of effort to update it. An all-new model built on the Explorer/Aviator’s CD6 architecture could have been interesting.

    • MarketAndChurch

      I don’t think too many people outside of Californian’s want that boxy design.

      A lowered MPV design based Ford S-max would have been cooler with greater appeal to the rest of the country. Think MPV with coupe-like styling, or the sports-car of minivans.

  • The Flex will be missed.

  • Honda NSX-R

    I’m surprised FoMoCo was still making these cars

  • MarketAndChurch

    I wished they had given it Ford S-max styling and profile.

  • Nowan

    The exterior has aged well, not so much the interior. still my favorite car from Ford

    • paulgdeaton

      Agreed. Although I always though the should have called it a “Fairlane”… the name just seems to fit for me.

  • Ben

    Dang, I’m gonna miss the Flex.

  • Bash

    Yeah yeah.

  • SteersUright

    Always liked the looks of the Flex, despite its terrible interior packaging. Only Ford could package a rectangle’s interior so poorly.

  • Craig

    Truth be told… I thought Ford stopped making the Flex a few years ago. That said.. I still think it looks cool.

  • Lloyd Anthony D Peters

    Hell. Bring it back as an EV. Use that brand new partnership with Rivian and Get a version of their vehicle as the Flex. I do like it’s design. And it’s a shame it’s gonna go. (the Ecoboost one is especially fun as a weird sleeper…). I’d love to see it come back as an EV. All that space should give decent range from a decently sized battery pack.

  • FoxJ30

    Rented one for two weeks. Transmission was awfully slow to kick down, and the blind spot sensors and proximity sensors went berserk every time you try to parallel park, but it was gargantuan on the inside, which is what we needed. And it also drove/rode very well for a car of its size, as long as you weren’t traversing mountain passes and wishing for the transmission to kick down.

    Would have been nice for it to be refreshed – I could see it getting another life as an airport taxi/Uber XL vehicle with some hybridization (around town fuel economy wasn’t that great).

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