Ford Flex Discontinuation Also Means The End For 450 Plant Workers

2020 Ford Flex
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Yesterday Ford announced that it was ending production of the Ford Flex. The Flex is a boxy SUV and van alternative that holds up to seven people and has been on sale for over a decade. The same factory that produces the Flex also produced the Lincoln MKT, which was essentially the same car. The MKT stopped production earlier this month.

What we didn’t know yesterday when the end of production was announced for the Flex is that the Oakville Assembly plant in Ontario, Canada, where it was made, would also be laying off workers. Production at the factory will continue until late-November, and in early 2020, 450 workers will be let go. Word of the layoffs comes for Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker. Oakville Assembly Plant had already shed 200 workers in September.

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That first round of layoffs was to better match supply to demand. Ford had stated that it sold 296,000 units of the Flex during its entire 11-year production run. That is about 27,000 units per year, which never met expectations. Oakville Assembly is going to continue operating after the Flex is discontinued.

The factory has 4,100 hourly workers and will continue to build Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus SUVs. The discontinuation of the Flex was no surprise to the factory workers, Jerry Dias, president of labor union Unifor representing the Ford workers says that he has submitted a requirest to meet with Ford to discuss plans for the plant.

Dias says that they are waiting to see what the short-term and long-term plans are, noting that the union wants to see “where their head is at.” Ford will begin negotiations with Unifor for a new contract for the hourly workers in 2020.

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Source: CNBC

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Written by Shane McGlaun

Shane is a car guy with a fondness for Mustangs and off-roading.

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3 Comments

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  1. I . I am very disappointed to see that the Flex is no longer going to be made. I just purchased our 3rd Flex once I heard that the 2019 was the last. This is our 3rd Flex and it really works for us as we travel from Michigan to Florida each year. We like the cargo space and the overall comfort.

    Ford marketing really dropped the ball for not advertising the Flex more. We normally trade every 3 years and I don’t know where we look for a suitable replacement for the Flex. This may be our last Ford.

  2. I guess the future of the plant will be determined by the next generation platform.
    They could make an extended 3-row version slotting below the Explorer/Aviator if Edge/Nautilus stay FWD.
    If it goes RWD, there’s less chance of that happening.

  3. So sad, too bad.
    We had a 2015 SEL and liked it very well. We chose it over the Explorer because it had more room, especially rear seat, better cargo area being more squarish, and the option packages made more sense. Had there been an AWD Windstar/Freestar, we probably would’ve gone for that. If they ever come out with AWD on the Transit connect, we might look at that. A 2020 Flex with the 3.0 EcoBoost and 10 speed would’ve been perfect. Other than the F-150, Ford doesn’t seem to know what the people who are buying their other models are looking for in a vehicle. F stock at $8.52 and going lower as of now… Tis-tok, WCF.

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