RIP Ford Flex: The retro-inspired wagon that refused to conform (finally) meets its demise

Ford Flex production has wrapped up.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

When it debuted in 2008, the Ford Flex was cute and fun, a reminder of the possibilities of unique car design in an era where sedans were similar, and crossovers were just starting to grab a foothold.

Ford never sold a lot of Flexes; around 272,000 total in the last 11 years. Toyota sold that many RAVs in the first 6.5 months of 2019. But it did earn a tremendous following of owners who loved their Flex.

2005 Ford Fairlane Concept Before the Flex came to market as a 2009 model, it was shown in 2005 as a concept called the Fairlane.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Why did they love it? The space. The Ford Flex was one few vehicles without Subaru badging that tall adults could comfortably sit in. Its retro interior was fun to look at, with unique detailing in the same way as what is in the modern Mini Cooper.

Its three rows meant that owners had room for their kids and stuff without feeling like they absolutely had to invest in a large SUV or minivan.

2013 Ford Flex Its earliest years were the most popular for the Flex. This model is a 2013. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

On top of it all, the Flex's styling was unique.

"Flex broke the mold. It had both crossover and minivan elements in a hip, trendy package that stood out from what was becoming a really boring minivan segment," said Chris Kessler, Ford Flex marketing manager. "Its design traced its roots to the traditional family station wagons that many of our customers remember growing up with, but it brought forward modern sport/utility design elements and features both parents and kids loved."

2019 Ford Flex The Ford Flex will end production with the 2019 model year.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford announced the model's abbreviated timeline well in advance of this final production notice.

The Flex was assembled at Ford's Oakville Assembly Complex in Ontario, Canada. The plant currently produces the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus. By halting production of the Flex, Ford is one step closer to announcing its forthcoming electrified models. The company had previously announce that they are is aiming to replace 75 percent of its current portfolio by the end of 2020.

Michael Martinez of Automotive News reported today that Ford will lay off 450 workers in Canada as part of the stoppage.

Trending News


Ford EV manufacturing

Ford plans new plants in Tennessee and Kentucky

Ford's new TN facility may be one of the largest in U.S. history.


Earlier this year, Ford outlined its plans for significant investments in electric vehicle development and construction. Today, the automaker announced a big step forward in that roadmap that will include two new facilities, billions in new spending, and thousands of new jobs.

The $5.6 billion Stanton, TN factory will be called Blue Oval City and will bring 6,000 new jobs to the area. Ford says the site will include a BlueOval SK battery plant, and that electric F-Series trucks will be manufactured there. The assembly plant is designed to be carbon neutral and to send zero waste to landfills once it's up and running.

Ford Blue Oval City Ford plans to create a combined 11,000 jobs.Ford

Ford notes that Blue Oval City will be one of the largest automotive manufacturing sites in U.S. history. The campus sprawls 3,600 acres over six square miles, and will house assembly, battery production, and a supplier facility. The vertical integration of all functions on one site should lower Ford's production costs and reduce its carbon footprint.

The $5.8 billion Kentucky site will be a dedicated battery manufacturing complex that houses two separate battery plants. The location will supply Ford's North American assembly plants and is expected to create 5,000 new jobs. The facilities in both states are being built as part of a joint venture between Ford and SK Innovation, pending regulatory approval.

Ford Blue Oval City The TN facility is expected to be carbon neutral when it's up and running.Ford

The increase in production capacity can't come soon enough for Ford. Earlier this year, the Mustang Mach-E EV debuted to strong demand, and the automaker will soon roll out the first electric F-Series truck. Called the Ford F-150 Lightning, the pickup will be the first electric truck from a legacy automaker.

Trending News


The Mach-E is the first EV to pass testing.


Seeing flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror can either be a very good or very bad thing, depending on what you're doing when they appear. You may be in for a surprise the next time you see them, though, as the Ford Mustang Mach-E just passed police testing and could end up in municipal fleets in the near future. Ford Pro provided the vehicle for testing by the Michigan State Police and it passed, making it the first all-electric vehicle to do so.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Vehicles are tested in several key areas.Ford

The Michigan State Police tests include acceleration, top speed, braking, and high-speed pursuit programs. Emergency response handling is also tested. To help law enforcement agencies make decisions about the vehicles that will best suit their needs, the Michigan State Police tests new model year police vehicles and publishes results for use by other agencies nationwide. It's one of two agencies that perform such tests.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Ford Pro provided the vehicles for testing by the Michigan State PoliceFord

The Ford Mustang Mach-E landed earlier this year and has been in high demand since. The Blue Oval initially offered the EV in a handful of trims and recently added a high-performance GT model to the lineup. All versions of the SUV feature sweeping lines and strong infotainment tech, and some offer extended range batteries with an all-wheel drive option. However, if you're hoping to get your hands on one, be prepared to wait. Current delivery times on Ford's website start at 20 weeks and extend to 28-plus weeks.

Ford Mustang Mach-E The Mach-E launched earlier this year and is in high demand.Ford

Ford Pro is launching soon and will offer a range of electrified and internal combustion vehicles to commercial customers of all types. The portfolio will eventually include the 2022 Ford E-Transit and 2022 F-150 Lightning, and likely the Mustang Mach-E, given its ability to pass the law enforcement tests.

Trending News