Ford to dump iconic crossover Flex; Oakville plant may see another around of layoff

Ford Flex
Ford crossover Flex Wikimedia Commons

In a move to overhaul its line-up of vehicles, Ford Motors has decided to dump Ford Flex that was launched over a decade ago. The company said that it will stop production of the crossover later this year. This also hints at a possible layoff at its Oakville Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada.

Ford's decision to kills the unconventional crossover wagon is in a bid to focus more on trucks and SUVs and realign its line up through 2020. Ford Flex made its debut in 2008 and since then it has witnessed certain loyalty from a section of car owners, who loved its unconventional design. The model sold around 296,000 units, selling 27,000 vehicles per year on average.

Not only Ford Flex, the company will also be doing away with its Lincoln MKT crossovers this month, which too is produced at its Oakville plant. Officials at Unifor, the Canadian auto workers union had in 2016 predicted that the company would stop producing Ford Flex by 2020.

Both the models are being dumped by Ford as part of its previously announced plan of replacing 75% of the vehicles in lineup by the end of 2020 to focus more on hot-selling models.

However, with this decision of scrapping two of its models, the Oakville plant may also see another around of layoff after the company cut jobs of 200 workers in September. The assembly pant presently employs around 4,100 hourly workers, who will continue to produce the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus.

Trying to realign lineup

Ford has been trying to realign its lineup for quite some time now and focus on trucks and SUVs, which have become the preferred choice of most Americans. Sale of passenger cars has seen a sharp decline in the past few years, with demand for SUVs and pickups on the rise. This has seen all major automakers like General Motors and Fiat stressing more on producing SUVs and trucks.

Ford has been long trying to do away with most of its passenger cars, with Fiesta and Taurus already having gone out of production. Instead the company is focusing more on newer SUVs like reviving Bronco and the all-new an electric crossover inspired by the Mustang, which will be unveiled in November.