Ford Flex Appeals to Disappearing Minivanistas. Go Figure.

ford flex appeals to disappearing minivanistas go figure

While we here at TTAC like to pretend we know everything, we don't. Don't know everything, and don't pretend to know everything. For example, why is Ford sales analyst George Pipas talking about U.S. minivan sales? As Bloomberg reports, Ford's Windstar minivan sailed into the history books back in '06. Apparently Pipas' sliding door fixation stems from the fact "The company later this year plans to roll out the seven-passenger Flex, a 'car-based vehicle it's aiming to sell to families that don't want a traditional minivan.'" Oh, so American car buyers don't want minivans but they do want a family vehicle, to the tune of some 100k+ Flexible flyers per year. Gotcha. Only why would Ford's stat man then advertise the fact that "industrywide U.S. sales of minivans may fall to a 23-year low this year… as more consumers turn to smaller cars" [emphasis added]. Or email someone and point-out that "In the 1980s, minivans were America's family car. Today, this category is approaching niche segment status"? Hell if I know.

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  • on Apr 24, 2008
    y2kdcar: If this is true, Ford truly has no clue about what constitutes a minivan replacement. I had a Freestyle (Taurus X predecessor) on a lease for a year or so and couldn’t wait to get rid of the thing. It drove well and got good gas mileage, but it didn’t come close to matching a minivan for cargo capacity or ease of use. The used Dodge Caravan (SWB) that replaced it does a much better job of meeting my family’s transportation needs. I fully agree. This Flex as a minivan replacement is a complete joke. I am only comparing the Flex to the Taurus X...which Ford is already making...and is already a better 'Flex' than the Flex is. But the Freestyle/Taurus X was never marketed as a 'mini van replacement'...actually, it was never marketed at all...and that continues with the Taurus X. Ford doesn't have the first clue as to what buyers want. We don't want a small car that looks like something out of a horror film, we don't want a 1/2 ton pickup truck that you need to climb stairs to use the bed, and we don't want another 7-seat station wagon WHEN FORD ALREADY MAKES ONE! A minivan replacement is just that...a minivan...not a Scion xB ripoff that is no more usable than an Explorer. The Flex was/is a complete waste of money, time and resources. Ford's money would be better spent figuring out how to get the desirable models they sell in Europe and Australia over here.

  • The Luigiian The Luigiian on Apr 24, 2008

    I like this car. It's fairly expensive and higher-class than the typical Ford vehicle. I think it might help Ford change it's downmarket image. As to the styling, I'll quote Edmunds: "Not Just Weird; Powerfully Weird". The term "wacky" turns up quite a few times in their review. I think Ford should use that as the Edge's slogan. "Not Just Weird; Powerfully Weird". They'd sell by the truckload.

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Apr 24, 2008

    "Case in point: the Windstar became the Freestar in 2004, for some inexplicable reason." The reason was that the Ford Leaders who grew up watching Sesame Street concluded that Fords start with "F". Brought to you by, the letter "F".