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Body-on-frame [light] trucks refuse to die

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On 6/30/2017 at 11:59 AM, TeamsterGrrrl said:

Bulldog, as a consumer and a Ford shareholder I'm on both sides of the issue... As a shareholder, I love the F series pickups and the SUVs! As a consumer, Ford hasn't even been able to sell me even a Fiesta.

I had a 2016 Ford Explorer company car lease vehicle before I retired.  That was a really nice vehicle, pretty loaded and one could be had off the dealer lot for about $31K.  Not cheap. but in my opinion a relatively good deal in the day of $100K Escalades, $50K Tahoes, and $70K Suburbans. 

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2 hours ago, kscarbel2 said:

I've heard the Flex is going to be discontinued in 2020.  The sales volume just isn't all that great.   Explorer unit sales volume is 9 or 10 times that of the Flex...

"US sales of the Ford Flex were up  just over 13 percent to 17,034 units through the first nine months of 2016 – still a small fraction of the Explorer’s 163,913 US sales over the same period. Its quirky, boxy styling resonated with some, but kept it from appealing to an audience as wide as that of the Explorer."

Read more: http://fordauthority.com/2016/11/ford-flex-to-get-the-axe-in-2020/#ixzz4ldVkvWV2

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7 hours ago, grayhair said:

I've heard the Flex is going to be discontinued in 2020.  The sales volume just isn't all that great.   Explorer unit sales volume is 9 or 10 times that of the Flex...

"US sales of the Ford Flex were up  just over 13 percent to 17,034 units through the first nine months of 2016 – still a small fraction of the Explorer’s 163,913 US sales over the same period. Its quirky, boxy styling resonated with some, but kept it from appealing to an audience as wide as that of the Explorer."

Read more: http://fordauthority.com/2016/11/ford-flex-to-get-the-axe-in-2020/#ixzz4ldVkvWV2

The story of the Ford Flex is very interesting indeed. It still sells well on the West Coast, and there's not another vehicle like it. I can imagine it being discontinued owing to low sales nationwide overall, but I can also imagine Ford evolving the concept forward to a second generation vehicle that could capture more interest.

http://www.ford.com/suvs-crossovers/flex/2017/

 

Ford is a puzzling automaker at times. For example, tell me which Ford Edge looks better. In my view, one I would seriously consider if I didn't need the Explorer's 3-row capability. The other, the exterior appearance would stop me from any consideration.

http://www.ford.com/suvs-crossovers/edge/2017/?gnav=header-all-vehicles

https://www.ford.com.cn/suvs/edge/

 

 

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The American consumer is very fickle. Manufacturers design and build a good product, and we are off to the next fad. I always thought the Flex is a smart design and size that makes sense for many people, especially families.

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I like the boxy interior, makes for more useful cargo space. Unfortunately the market doesn't share our opinions.

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On 6/30/2017 at 7:35 AM, TeamsterGrrrl said:

Everybody and their brother wants a pickup around here, so it's a sellers market that the dealers take advantage of- I often see 5 year old pickups selling for about the same price I can get a new one for at fleet pricing. Get much older than that and you start seeing expensive rust problems on the underside of vehicles- My Ranger cab and box looks great but I've had to replace almost every brake line due to rust, and some of the 10+ year old Rangers have had frames rust through. and after I've spent $20k on a 5 year old pickup I still have to worry about a $5k engine or transmission rebuild. And that $20k pickup only gets 15 MPG.

The good deals are in small cars, which are cheap to begin with and depreciate fast- I can buy a new Focus, Cruze, etc. for around $15k new and way less used. They get around 30 MPG, and put on a trailer hitch and you've got the payload capacity of a half ton pickup. You just have to quit thinking "pickup" and start thinking "car", or at least "minivan"

Another area of bi-paritisan agreement with you. Too many big vehicles. Everywhere in the world people haul twice the load with half the vehicle; and they often do it safely. You will routinely see BMW and Mercedes Benz wagons towing horse trailers..... in Germany for instance.

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Agreed, once I discovered small trailers I had a lot less need for a pickup. Fleet Farm and Farm & Fleet stores in the midwest sell a 4' by 8' no floor trailer for $400 on sale- just add a sheet of plywood for a floor and make sideboards and a ramp if you wish, and you're good to haul around 1500 pounds!

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Trailers are a Godsend, but they are also the biggest PIA of any piece of rolling stock. If it's not bad tires than it'd a bad bearing, or it needs annual safety inspection, etc. I have several, but the maintenance is a constant headache. The good thing about a truck if it is used regularly is its' so much more reliable.

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You only have bad tires if you don't put on good tires and stay within their load and speed capabilities. Had one bearing go in the last 10 years, just have to keep them maintained.

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You only have bad tires if you don't put on good tires

My point exactly. Replacing tires every few years adds up. As for bearings, I don't understand why any trailer bearing goes bad when automotive wheel bearings last basically forever without any maintenance. Like I said a Godsend but a PIA to keep up.

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Here's my little jitney, does a lot of work for me since I don't own a pickup truck. Titled as a 1975 homemade trailer, put together by a mechanic friend of mine. I purchased it from him almost 10 years ago. New bearings and lights at that time. I got lucky, my Jeep wheels fit right on the hubs.4321c3da8a45cbedcad09d2dfd30735e.jpg
 

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I think I will put a Flex body on my 2005 Explorer frame when the body finally goes.  It would be what should have been done with the Flex.

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On July 5, 2017 at 3:59 AM, Doug Maney said:
I think I will put a Flex body on my 2005 Explorer frame when the body finally goes.  It would be what should have been done with the Flex.


You could call it the FLEXPLORER

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