News From the Front: Ford Stops Flex Production, Scales Back Edge

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
news from the front ford stops flex production scales back edge

Our contacts at Ford tell us there's big trouble brewing for The Blue Oval Boys. Two independent sources report that FoMoCo is ceasing production of the fresh-out-of-the-box Flex in their Oakville, Ontario plant. Apparently, the factory has built some 13k xB-shaped CUVs since production began on June 3– and sold [a lot] less than a thousand. Our correspondent tells us " the 500 additional employees that they were hiring for a third shift have been canceled… The CAW [Canadian Autoworkers Union] is not too pleased." If true, Ford's beancounters will share their dismay; the automaker spent over $1b converting Oakville to, wait for it, flexible manufacturing. While we seek further confirmation, a TTAC tipster working at a supplier for the Ford Edge (also made in Oakville) says dropping sales are leading to a severe cutback. "Our schedulers are trying to get some hard numbers so they can work out our shifts." You want hard numbers? Although Edge sales are up 16.8 percent year-to-date, they fell off a cliff in June, down 19.9 percent. The same fate befell the Lincoln MKX (the Edge's twin under the skin), up 4.2 percent year-to-date, down a whopping 34 percent in June. We will keep you up-to-date with new info as we receive it. One thing is for sure: when Ford reports its financials on Thursday, there will be Hell to pay. [thanks to our sources]

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  • on Jul 24, 2008
    P71_Crown Vic: ‘hardly-changed-in-10-years’ Panthers? How about ‘occasionally-updated-over-30-years’? D3’s can come and go, but the Panther platform paid for itself during the Reagan Administration - long live the CV/GM/TC’s of the past 3 decades! AMEN BROTHER!!!!!!

  • Armadamaster Armadamaster on Jul 26, 2008

    Well said 300six, Sajeev Mehta, & P71_Crown Vic! Correct all on counts about the pitiful D3s and the venerable Panthers. You would think Ford would learn their lesson on this but I guarantee you there will be another D3 experient down the pipe while the Panthers rot on the vine. Ford is rivaling GM now for redundancy in their SUV offerings, not a good thing.

  • S is for Supra S is for Supra on Jul 29, 2008

    What were Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna sales figures for the month? Or Acadia/Outlook sales? Look at those and compare, then you can make an assessment as to how it's doing in the marketplce.

  • OAC_Sparky OAC_Sparky on Aug 04, 2008

    Funny, I actually work at the plant that builds the Edge and Flex. We're still building Flexes, production is being adjusted to account for the market in general being slow and primarily from falling Edge sales. The author of this article either needs more knowledgeable sources or a new crystal ball.