Ford Mideast sales up as new Flex debuts in UAE
Dubai, October 11, 2008
Middle East sales of Ford's Mercury and Lincoln for the none months to September 2008 were up by 28 per cent in the Middle East, with UAE alone registering a 35 per cent growth over same period last year.
Ford Middle East said the growth was led by increasing demand for award winning trucks and utility vehicles, which were up by 45 per cent around the region, registering a record performance for the company.
Best sellers were: the Ford Edge (up 121 per cent); Escape (up by 33 per cent); Expedition (up by 30 per cent); Expedition EL (up by 93 per cent); Explorer (up by 53 per cent); Explorer Sport Trac (up by 139 per cent); Lincoln MKX (up by 88 per cent); Navigator (up by 31 per cent); Mercury Mountaineer (up by 73 per cent).
Ford expects the popularity over its utility vehicles to grow further, with the introduction of the all-new 2009 Ford Flex, the latest nameplate to join its lineup which now offers seven different products including: Edge (compact CUV), Escape (compact SUV), Explorer (mid-size SUV), Explorer Sport Trac (Sport Utility Truck), Expedition (full-size SUV) and the Expedition EL (extended body).
Flex is the innovative new full-size, 7-passenger crossover offering from Ford that has been making waves in North America since its introduction just a few months back. It has distinctive and daring design coupled with a stylish interior, a smart package and unmatched technology including Sync, the new Ford-exclusive, voice-activated, hands-free, in-vehicle communications and entertainment system.
"Now it's safe to add daring and intriguing to the list of adjectives describing Ford vehicles as the new provocative Flex is here," said Hussein Murad, Ford Middle East's director of Sales.
"The Flex is like nothing else on the road, and it defies being categorised."
It is going to appeal to a group of customers who feel absolutely the same way about themselves. We are excited with this new addition as the Ford lineup now offers unprecedented diversity which will attract new customers to our dealerships.”
From its planted stance and broad shoulders – flanked by signature side grooves – to its all-black greenhouse and distinctive multi-panel Vista Roof, Ford designers have created a provocative vehicle with the Flex.
In a world of automobiles that are easy to categorise, Flex is difficult to define and polarizing. Embracing that enigmatic nature was the key breakthrough in the design process, according to Peter Horbury, executive director, Design, The Americas.
"Flex is a radical departure," Horbury said.
"At first we were uncomfortable with the way Flex could polarise, but its ability to compel an opinion, good or bad, was fascinating. It inspired us forward with courage to create a breakthrough design.”
Flex’s prominent stance is a key design element setting it apart from all other vehicles. Park Ford Flex next to an SUV or a typical crossover. The proportions are immediately surprising.
Capping the horizontal design cues in bold contrast is the unique roof of the new Ford Flex. Available in two colours, White Suede or Brilliant Silver, the roof contrasts stylishly with the Flex exterior paint palette.
The Flex's multi-panel Vista Roof adds even more distinction. Available on SEL and Limited models, the Vista Roof has four glass panels to provide abundant natural light to occupants of all three rows of passengers. The forward panel is a moonroof that opens to let in fresh air.
The exterior design of the Flex creates interest, but it’s the surprising space and comfort for seven, the elegant, upscale style and clever flexibility of the interior that will magnetically keep people in the new Flex.
"We wanted the interior to be a place of contemporary, relaxed style – somewhere you could feel very comfortable, yet involved and connected," said Anthony Prozzi, chief interior designer.