Blog: Ford Flex
Dave Leggett | 11 October 2014
The distinctively styled Ford Flex
I'm in Detroit at the moment - here to participate in a conference yesterday, followed by a round of company visits and interviews over the next week or so.
I asked Ford for a press car that would give me some time in a product squarely offered to the US market and they haven't disappointed. Okay, I would have liked a Mustang, but Ford has given me an interesting experience by providing me with a Flex, which is billed as a crossover. There's a 3.5L V6 Duratec engine, all-wheel drive, funky interior and the vehicle is, well, pretty spacious. There's also an option to have a refrigerator fitted - something that Ford says is popular - so that the kids can have a cool drink.
The thing that really has me intrigued with this vehicle is the standout styling. The bold three-quarter 'boxiness' reminds me of some of the vehicles made by the Japanese for their domestic market only. And in conversations I have had, it seems that people either instantly like or dislike the Flex look, not much middle ground. Have to say I like the fact that this vehicle is very distinctively styled (mine is a rather dashing 'ruby red' - see pic). It scores highly in surveys of Ford customers who say they would like to repeat the purchase of same model they currently drive. You can get an idea of the fan base and market positioning by looking at the car's Facebook page. So, the gross sales numbers for Flex may not be high (around 30,000 a year, which must cause some to question its viability), but on the upside, maybe this vehicle can be brought to market relatively cheaply on a shared platform and build brand loyalty in families. The kids, of course, will be tomorrow's customers and maybe will always remember the family car with the refrigerator. Food for thought ahead of a meeting next week with Ford's global product chief, Raj Nair.
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