Reporting Jeff Gilbert
Filed underAuto, Autos, Autos News, Business, Daily J PM, Local, News, Radio.com - News, Syndicated Local, Syndication
DEARBORN — (WWJ) The iconic Ford blue oval is gone, as a part of the company’s update of the unique looking Flex crossover.
“Flex’s exterior upgrades place even more emphasis on this unique character of the vehicle, starting with a Flex badge on the lip of the hood in place of the Ford oval,” said Ford president of The Americas Mark Fields.
The removal of the blue oval could be somewhat controversial, shifting the emphasis to the Flex as a product, and away from it as a part of the Ford brand.
“The designers just decided, hey let’s put the Flex name on the top, so when people come up to it, and are driving on the highway and see it behind them, they know it’s a Flex,” said Fields. “It’s just an interesting take on design.”
The new Flex is one of a series of products being unveiled by Ford at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The Flex has always been an interesting take on design. The updates make the design a little more streamlined, but still nothing like any other Ford product.
The interior is also updated, with newest version of the “My Ford Touch” technology, and several new safety options including blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control, and inflatable seat belts for the back seats.
Ford has also upgraded the six cylinder engine, with 20 more horsepower and one more mile per gallon.
The Flex started life as an alternative to minivans. While its sales have been below expectations, Fields says it has been bringing new buyers to Ford, especially on the west coast. Fields says California accounts for nearly 19 per cent of Flex sales.
“On the west coast, that’s where design trends start, they like to make statements. It’s just appealing,” said Fields. “When you’re standing at a traffic light in Los Angeles, you want to make a statement.”