Throughout The Car Industry
Do People Actually Buy This Thing? 2013 Ford Flex Price Hike
The Ford Flex mid-sized SUV gets a price hike for the 2013 model year. The 2013 model starts at $31,710 (includes $825 destination fee), a $1,420 leap from the base price of the 2012 model. The price increase pushes the Flex over the price of some competitors.
Not only does the $31,710 price of the 2013 Flex make it well more than competitors like the $29,050 2012 Toyota Highlander, but it's also about $2,000 more than the 2013 Ford Explorer, which is based on the same platform, offers comparable space and delivers better fuel economy.
And that leads me to my original question - do people actually buy the Flex? It's a rather redundant offering in Ford's line, with more popular (and mostly cheaper) SUVs like the Escape, Edge, Explorer and Expedition running the gamut from small to full-size. Granted styling is a matter of opinion, but the boxy, refrigerator-like look of the Flex appears to me more entry level than $31K - kind of like an extended Nissan Cube or Scion xB. I can't see much draw to it.
And car buyers don't see all that much draw either. If you're uninitiated with Ford sales, the 27,428 Flex models sold last year might sound like a lot. But compare it to every other model in Ford's utility line, and it shrinks to a fraction. Ford sold more than 250,000 Escapes, more than 135,000 Explorers and more than 120,000 Edge models. The only model that the Flex was comparable to was the full-size Expedition, which sold in the 40,000 range.
So perhaps Ford will eventually realize the Flex is a slow-selling redundancy. Or maybe it will hang on to the model to appeal to those looking for something with quirky styling.
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