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Ford Flex Begins Production In Ontario, Canada


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#1 OFFLINE   Ford Flex Guide

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 08:30 PM

Ford Flex Begins Production In Ontario, Canada

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• Production of the new 2009 Ford Flex is under way at Oakville Assembly Complex; the plant is adding 500 jobs to keep up with demand for its hot-selling crossovers.
• Flex is among the first Ford vehicles to fully utilize Ford’s industry-leading digital product development and manufacturing technology to deliver world-class quality.
• Oakville Assembly Complex has the manufacturing flexibility to build three vehicles on two unique vehicle platforms built in a single body shop and on the same assembly line.
• The distinctive 2009 Ford Flex full-size crossover arrives in dealerships this summer.

Further building its strength in the rapidly growing crossover vehicle market, Ford Motor Company today announced the production launch of the 2009 Ford Flex at the Ford Oakville Assembly Complex (OAC).

“Today, we’re providing still more evidence that Ford is committed to delivering more products people want, further building on our crossover leadership,” Mark Fields, Ford’s President of The Americas told more than 1,000 employees, government officials and Canadian Auto Workers representatives at the launch celebration. “Flex drives as good as it looks, and the Oakville team is going to deliver another high-quality crossover for customers.”

The Oakville plant has increased production and is adding 500 jobs in an effort to keep up with the demand for its hot-selling crossovers including the Lincoln MKX, Ford Edge and Ford Flex, which starts arriving in dealership showrooms this summer.

Crossover vehicles have been the fastest-growing vehicle segment in North America this decade. During the past two years, Ford crossover growth in North America is the fastest in the industry. In the U.S., Ford Edge was the best-selling mid-size crossover in 2007 and is to date in 2008. In Canada, the crossover segment grew 89 percent in 2007 versus the previous year, and Ford of Canada sold more crossovers than any other manufacturer.

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Reaction to Ford’s newest crossover has been strong, a point celebrated by attendees of the launch ceremony including hockey great Wayne Gretzky who emerged from a 2009 Ford Flex.

“The team here at Oakville continues to be at the top of their game,” Gretzky said. “By working together, they are building a great success story.”

Innovative Virtual Manufacturing

The 2009 Ford Flex, the first Ford product fully developed under the Global Product Development System, also was among the first Ford vehicles to fully utilize digital design and manufacturing technology to ensure high quality at every stage of the vehicle’s development.

By running thousands of engineering checks in the vehicle’s digital pre-assembly phase, the product team dramatically reduced the number of potential manufacturing concerns, helping ensure Flex will meet the highest customer expectations in every market where it’s sold.

“We continue to raise the bar on ourselves with standardized quality-driven processes in all areas of the company – design, product development, manufacturing and customer service,” said Joe Hinrichs, group vice president, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs. “Now Ford’s quality is on par with the best in the industry. Our unrelenting commitment to world-class quality guides everything we do.”

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Oakville Assembly Complex is an example of how Ford is moving toward flexible manufacturing across its North American operations. The plant produces two unique vehicle platforms in its flexible body shop.

Edge, Flex and the Lincoln MKX come down the same assembly line. This flexible system means the plant can efficiently adapt to shifts in consumer demand.

“The news couldn’t be better for the Oakville operations,” said Barry Engle, Ford of Canada president and CEO. “The products are selling as fast as we can build them. We’re adding another show-stopper vehicle, and we’re creating new employment.”

In 2005, the 5.4 million square-foot (486,000 m2) plant began a $1 billion conversion to flexible manufacturing, including a state-of-the-art body assembly facility. As a flexible plant, OAC can build multiple models on unique architectures enabling the plant to change the mix, volume and options of products more quickly in response to consumer demand – representing a new level of market-driven manufacturing agility.

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Flex combines a unique “box-on-box” design with class-leading package, delivers fuel economy of 12.6L/100 km in the city and 8.4L/100 km on the highway – or 17/24 mpg, respectively – and offers other “firsts,” including:

• The latest generation of Ford’s successful SYNC technology, which allows for voice activation of in-car technology as well as hand-free operation of mobile phones and MP3 players.
• A compressor-driven refrigerator/freezer, which works some 30 percent faster than home fridge/freezers.
• Multi-panel Vista Roof, which gives each individual in the vehicle their own view.
• A reverse camera system that shows a rear-view image on the 8-inch screen when Flex is in reverse.
• Ford’s new EasyFuel capless refueling system, which allows for clean and simple refueling without a fuel cap.

#2 OFFLINE   cebritt

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 09:08 AM

Flex combines a unique “box-on-box” design with class-leading package, delivers fuel economy of 12.6L/100 km in the city and 8.4L/100 km on the highway – or 17/24 mpg, respectively


Hmmm...17/24 mpg...just like my 2001 Windstar. That's not very good in this day and age of $4/gallon gas. And I love the way they try to disguise the lousy mileage by stating it in L/km first (note that the plant size is in square feet first, m2 second). LOL! I think the engineers should spend less time on the Sync and freezer and more time on fuel economy. That's what buyers want, not gimmicks. Every vehicle Ford offers from now on should have a hybrid option...

Edited by cebritt, 04 June 2008 - 09:29 AM.


#3 OFFLINE   jackflash

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 07:17 PM

Hmmm...17/24 mpg...just like my 2001 Windstar. That's not very good in this day and age of $4/gallon gas. And I love the way they try to disguise the lousy mileage by stating it in L/km first (note that the plant size is in square feet first, m2 second). LOL! I think the engineers should spend less time on the Sync and freezer and more time on fuel economy. That's what buyers want, not gimmicks. Every vehicle Ford offers from now on should have a hybrid option...


Even though I think you're a Toyota mole, :worm: I agree, the fuel mileage on this should be higher.

#4 OFFLINE   InJapan

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 11:04 PM

Hmmm...17/24 mpg...just like my 2001 Windstar. That's not very good in this day and age of $4/gallon gas. And I love the way they try to disguise the lousy mileage by stating it in L/km first (note that the plant size is in square feet first, m2 second). LOL! I think the engineers should spend less time on the Sync and freezer and more time on fuel economy. That's what buyers want, not gimmicks. Every vehicle Ford offers from now on should have a hybrid option...

I don't think the mileage is that bad. The new EPA numbers are more realistic and I don't think the Japanese do alot better. The Toyota Alphard / Vellfire is similar sized with a slightly more powerful 3.5L engine and it is rated at an optimistic combined 23 mpg. The Japanese use a different system and can easily be off by 10-20%. A little 2L minivan I rented once was rated at a combined 28 mpg... it was lucky to see 23 mpg on the expressway. Worse than my M3.

Also you forgot that the new EPA testing standards are much more realistic than the older ones your Windstar was tested on.

I do agree that Ford should bring out a hybrid version along with the EcoBoost version and possibly a 4 cylinder version.

American cars / companies have more of a problem with packaging / vision / direction than they do with engines efficiency.

#5 OFFLINE   cebritt

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 04:43 AM

Even though I think you're a Toyota mole, :worm: I agree, the fuel mileage on this should be higher.

My 2001 Windstar is the best vehicle I have ever owned. We also own a 1998 Toyota Sienna and it is my first and last Toyota. Too many cheap plastic parts that break.

My point is that the Flex replaces the Freestar, however, it doesn't do anything better than the Freestar. It's just a station wagon and yet they want you to believe it's some kind of magical new vehicle. The Crossover moniker is just marketing BS. It's a station wagon and everyone knows it. The only thing less cool to drive than a minivan is a station wagon.

The sliding side cargo doors and elevated driving position are what make minivans so practical. You get into a tight spot in a parking garage and you don't have to worry about the kids throwing open the doors into other cars.

And my actual mileage is 18 around town and 23 on the highway and I'll bet my Windstar weighs more than the Flex. So in eight years, Ford engineers have made no practical advances in gas mileage. No wonder the Feds are forcing them to increase CAFE. The big three are unwilling to do it on their own. It's painfully obvious that Mulally is not a car guy with vision...

#6 OFFLINE   jackflash

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 06:54 PM

And my actual mileage is 18 around town and 23 on the highway and I'll bet my Windstar weighs more than the Flex. So in eight years, Ford engineers have made no practical advances in gas mileage. No wonder the Feds are forcing them to increase CAFE. The big three are unwilling to do it on their own. It's painfully obvious that Mulally is not a car guy with vision...


I agree with your sentiments about Ford's advancements in regard to fuel mileage. Eight years with little to no progress. But, Ford isn't alone in their lackluster performance.

Can't blame Mulally though...he arrived way after the Flex was penned.

Wagon or not, the Flex is too cool. My wife on the other hand hates it. :rolleyes: Luckily for me, I am the king of the domain :talkhand: so we are getting one.

The Flex is a love or hate and Ford knows that and from what I have read, they knew that going in.






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