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Ford Moves Upscale with the Flex (www.autosavant.net)

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Ford Moves Upscale with the Flex

By Igor Holas

02.26.2008

For the past several decades, Ford’s method of selling cars has been the premise of offering the same features as their competition for a cheaper price. This worked fine, but it left Ford vulnerable to rapid segment shifts. With releasing models that were just good enough (albeit better values), Ford had no breathing room should the competition move the game on. A clear example of this pitfall can be seen with the Fusion. When released in 2005, the sedan was right near the top of its segment in power, economy, refinement, and any other relevant measure. However, in quick succession, the new Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Saturn Aura, Honda Accord, and Chevrolet Malibu moved the game way past Fusion’s capability. Only three years after introduction, Ford will have to perform almost a complete overhaul on the car to keep it competitive.

Recently, GM broke off from the same flawed marketing strategy, and with its excellent new full-size crossovers and mid-size sedans proved to the world that there is talent left in Detroit. These new models were priced much higher than earlier models, right on par with their Japanese competitors, but often offered a level of execution and features a notch above that same competition.

The first indication of Ford moving in the same direction was the Edge. The mid-sized crossover debuted with features clearly above its main rival, the Nissan Murano. Now, despite the Murano’s redesign, the Edge is still very much competitive, and will need only a standard mid-cycle refresh to once again achieve the edge over Murano.

However, the true and final shift in Ford’s value paradigm will arrive with the new Ford Flex. With the Flex, Ford is moving significantly upscale, from the automotive basement to the level of the aforementioned Japanese competition, and maybe even a notch above. Ford will no longer be the cheap alternative to Toyota and Honda, barely matching their features. With the Flex, Ford will position itself as the automaker that will offer more features for the same money as the competition.

MORE AT LINK: http://www.autosavant.net/2008/02/ford-mov...-with-flex.html

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overpriced consdering its deficient in cargo capacity and seating girth.

good thing we have traverse as an option. save 10+ grand and get usable space.

Love Ford, love the Flex, but the interior is not high brow enough to get those prices. Look for massive rebates and MSRP adjustments.

FWIW the edge is too spendy also.

Edited by regfootball
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overpriced consdering its deficient in cargo capacity and seating girth.

good thing we have traverse as an option. save 10+ grand and get usable space.

Love Ford, love the Flex, but the interior is not high brow enough to get those prices. Look for massive rebates and MSRP adjustments.

FWIW the edge is too spendy also.

I doubt the Traverse will be more than $1k - $2k cheaper than the Flex - feature - by - feature.

The only thing the Traverse has on the Flex is the width of the third row seat which allows it to seat three back there. - that comes from the tall stance - the seats are above the wheel wells - unlike the low-floored Flex.

Igor

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