Some rather unfortunate news came out of Canadian union Unifor’s recent contract negotiations with Ford Motor Company: the divisively-styled Ford Flex crossover will be discontinued in 2020. It will be survived by the Ford Explorer.
The Ford Flex full-size CUV is currently produced alongside the Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX, and Lincoln MKT stablemate at Ford’s Oakville Assembly Complex. According to the Detroit Free Press, its discontinuation, which was revealed by Unifor leadership, will coincide with new investment in the facility secured under the union’s new deal with Ford Canada. The Ford Edge and its luxury counterpart, the Lincoln MKX, are likely to receive facelifts by that time, while the future of the MKT remains unclear.
US sales of the Ford Flex were up just over 13 percent to 17,034 units through the first nine months of 2016 – still a small fraction of the Explorer’s 163,913 US sales over the same period. Its quirky, boxy styling resonated with some, but kept it from appealing to an audience as wide as that of the Explorer.