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Ford Kills the Flex

Ford Kills the Flex
  • ford will stop making its seven-seat flex crossover at the end of november.
  • the lincoln mkt will also be discontinued; both are built in oakville, ontario, which will lay off some 450 workers.
  • the flex, which made its debut in as a 2008 model, never enjoyed major popularity, selling less than 24,000 per year in the past five years and only 20,308 in 2018.

    just as ford starts contract negotiations with the united auto workers, the automaker has announced it will stop making the ford flex crossover and lay off 450 workers at its oakville, ontario, plant. production is slated to end in late november, and the worker layoffs will happen early next year.

    the plant also builds the lincoln mkt, which has already been discontinued. the plant will continue to make the ford edge and lincoln nautilus. the flex's end had previously been revealed by the canadian union unifor, which said in 2016 that 2020 would be the end of the line for the vehicle's production.

    it's not a surprise that ford is discontinuing the slow-selling flex, particularly since the automaker decided more than a year ago to stop making all cars except the mustang in favor of suvs and pickups. the flex is more of a tall wagon than a true crossover and was marketed as an alternative to the family minivan rather than as a utility vehicle. still, it was appealing in an old-school kind of way, and we're sorry to see it go. we appreciated it for both its quirky looks and its performance, most recently testing a 2016 all-wheel-drive model with the 3.5-liter ecoboost engine, but we said even then: "we like it, and always have, but ford doesn't sell many of them, and the model’s future is uncertain." it's certain now.