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All-New 2009 FORD Flex, 2009 F-150 recognized as most ‘Accesory-Friendly’ Vehicles at 2008 SEMA SHOW


DEARBORN, Mich. – The all-new 2009 Ford Flex and the new 2009 Ford F-150 are the most “accessory-friendly” SUV and truck respectively, according to members of the automotive media who selected winners for this year’s SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Design Awards.

SEMA Design Awards honor vehicles a select group of voters chose as the most inviting and receptive to accessorization in four categories: car, SUV, truck and hybrid. Several unique, customized interpretations of both the Flex and F-150 were on display earlier this month in Las Vegas at the SEMA show, the world’s premier automotive specialty products trade event.

Karl Brauer, editor-in-chief, says the design of the new Flex lends itself well to aftermarket accessorization.

“The Ford Flex has the kind of interesting exterior styling that encourages modifications, such as Blu-ray entertainment players,” said Brauer. “The wheels play a major role in the Flex’s styling, so changing or upgrading them could play a major role in personalizing the vehicle.”

Flex Marketing Manager Kate Pearce, says she was delighted – but not all that surprised -- to learn that Ford’s newest crossover was the SEMA Design award-winner in the SUV category.

“Before the Flex was even launched, customization shops were playing with the images online to show what they could do with the car,” she said. “That was confirmation of what we already knew, which was that this vehicle would have mass appeal in the customization world.”

The many ways to personalize Flex, a full-size utility with room for up to seven passengers, start at the factory.

“There are a variety of options available, with the colors, series and features you choose,” said Pearce. “For example, you can order a monotone versus a two-tone vehicle, and choose a roof that is either body colored, white suede or brilliant silver.”

Truck Trend Editor Angus MacKenzie says the all-new 2009 F-150 – winner of the SEMA Design Award in the truck category – is practically tailor-made for companies looking to address an exact niche for their specific customer base.

“Anything that can increase or improve the multidimensionality of a truck or SUV gives the owner that much more reason to keep the vehicle,” he said. “There will be big opportunities for those who can give a big personality-changing bang for a truck owner’s buck.”

F-150 has been part of America’s best-selling pickup line for 31 consecutive years. It is also the most accessorized vehicle in the aftermarket. New for 2009, the F-150 offers customers unrivaled capability, unsurpassed fuel economy and a host of smart, game-changing features. Combine that with the numerous add-ons available in the aftermarket, and the possibilities are endless, says Ford Designer Melvin Betancourt.

“Whether it’s adding big tires for off-roading or lowering the truck to give it more of a street performance look, the 2009 F-150 is like a blank canvas that you can do almost anything with,” he said. “It all depends on the personality of the owner.”


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