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.”
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.