Ford's Mark Fields, the automaker's president of Americas, made a lot of bold pronouncements at Ford's New York show presser today, not surprising for the company that's been making a lot of Bold Moves lately.
Fields, when introducing Ford's newest crossover, the Flex, said Ford will lead the way in the crossover segment like it did with SUVs, a market in which it did, in fact, lead the way. The big difference between then and now is that, despite all the bluster, Ford isn't doing any leading this time. Crossovers of all shapes and sizes have been sprouting up from seemingly every automaker, and many are already on the road.
Ford's recent sales have been partially living on its new Edge, which has been gaining some traction in the marketplace. But when a brand like Infiniti, which has had its FX series rolling for years, is already moving on to produce a second, smaller line of crossovers in the form of the EX Concept (also debuted today), well, you get the point.
The Flex, by all accounts, has been garnering some positive buzz at the show. Unlike the Edge, which doesn't really break any design rules, the Flex's unique long box appearance with multiple bodyside lines and a different-colored top, will stand out. In addition, its Flex-ible seven-seat interior, filled with the latest tech tidbits and gadgets - including an integrated cooler and 8-inch DVD screen - also has what it takes to compete.
It's a shame it won't be out until next summer, though. That puts Ford even more behind the proverbial 8-ball. This is a vehicle that should be hitting showrooms now.
Fields also said Ford would lead the way with small cars, another area in which it is far, far behind. While it clearly won't be leading the way in either segment this time like it did way back when with SUVs, the Flex is a solid step in the right direction.
Will it be bold enough to succeed? We'll find out in a year or so.