DETROIT – Ford Motor is ending production of the Ford Flex as part of an overhaul of its vehicle lineup through 2020 to shift toward trucks and SUVs.
Ford said it will stop producing the “unconventional crossover wagon” later this year.
The automaker couldn’t immediately say how many employees will be displaced at Ford’s Oakville Assembly plant in Ontario, Canada, where the Flex is built. The company is also discontinuing this month its Lincoln MKT — a crossover built at the plant on the same platform with similar components as the Flex. Company spokesman Dan Barbossa said Ford is notifying affected employees Monday.
In July, several media outlets reported the automaker planned to temporarily lay off about 200 people at the plant in September, possibly followed by additional layoffs in January.
The Flex, which can seat seven people and is known as a “minivan alternative,” built a loyal following for its unique design and functionality, but sales of the vehicle never met expectations. Ford sold more than 296,000, or roughly 27,000 vehicles a year, since the Flex arrived in dealerships in 2008.
The Flex is being discontinued as part of a previously announced plan for Ford to redesign or replace 75% of its vehicle lineup by the end of 2020. The plan is specifically focused on expanding Ford’s truck and utility lineup and shedding passenger cars, except for its iconic Mustang sports car.