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Ford Takes it to the Max in Paris – With New S-Max and C-Max Models

Europe gets two "un-minivans."

by on Oct.02, 2014

Ford's European "people-mover" family includes the B-, C- and S-Max models.

Ford is rolling out two new “people movers” for the 2014 Paris Motor Show, and American motorists may see the updated version of the C-Max make it to U.S. showrooms in the near future.

The C-Max and stretched Grand C-Max will debut alongside an all-new version of the bigger S-Max. Along with the pint-sized B-Max, they make up a family of sport-activity vehicles that serve as a European alternative for families who’d like something a little more visually appealing and fun to drive than a classic minivan.

The Automotive Journal of Record!

The new S-Max is the most sophisticated of the bunch, and will undergo the most complete changeover. Under the skin, the 2015 remake will share the same CD4 platform that will underpin the next-generation Ford Mondeo line – which is sold in the U.S. as the Fusion sedan. (more…)

First Drive: 2012 Ford C-Max

Getting the max out of the minivan.

by on Dec.20, 2010

Ford introduces a hands-free liftgate system on its new 2012 C-Max.

When it’s time to set up a joke on late-night television, there are several things that will always get you a laugh.  Mention New Jersey, for one.  Or minivans.  The much-maligned people mover is seemingly a stand-in for everything worth jibing about with suburban American life.

Which is funny because, when it comes down to practicality, perhaps no vehicle more serious about doing its job than the classic American minivan.  They’re roomy, safe, practical, efficient and, well, try to squeeze nearly as much stuff into the back of an SUV, or simply get the kids in and buckled up without that signature sliding door.

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Which is why, despite the most dire predictions, the minivan market hasn’t dried up and blown away. If anything, it’s regaining strength after hitting last year’s segment low – and giving hope to Ford Motor Co. that its newest offering will finally help the maker capture a solid share of what it prefers to call the “people-mover segment” with the all-new 2012 Ford C-Max.

Call it what you will, but this compact 7-seater could finally give Ford a shot at buyers who have long ignored offerings like the Windstar and Freestar (Click Here for more.) And if we see the serious run up in fuel prices many predict, the C-Max could become a serious alternative to the bigger minivans that currently comprise the vast majority of what’s available in the U.S.

The 2012 Ford C-Max is surprisingly roomy, despite its compact footprint, attractive, affordable and fuel efficient.  It also offers a number of interesting innovations – including a new hands-free liftgate that we expect competitors like Chrysler, Honda and Toyota racing to reverse-engineer.

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Second Look: 2011 Ford C-Max

An all-new, now production-ready, minivan debuts at Geneva.

by on Feb.22, 2010

The Grand C-Max provides seven passenger seating in a relatively small compact package. There are sliding rear doors on both sides.

Ford’s next-generation of small, multi-activity vehicles, C-Max and Grand C-Max, will appear in their final production versions at the Geneva Motors Show.

Teasers versions of the vans appeared at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September. (Click here.)

Ford is also announcing technology “enhancements” for the Ford Kuga and Mondeo, plus revealing additional options for the new S-Max and Galaxy at Geneva.

The C-Max range, which goes on sale later this year in Europe, are by U.S. standards mini-minivans, but a stretched version of the five-passenger C-Max, dubbed “Grand,” will eventually find its way to North American shores, along with a revised Focus somewhere around 2012.

One Ford, at least in the Focus line, at last.

This will end one of Ford managements’ truly bonehead decisions – keeping the old generation Focus on sale while it was long past its prime by refusing to collaborate with Ford Europe and Ford Asia-Pacific on the second generation Focus, which has been on sale – successfully – elsewhere for six years now.   (more…)

Ford Super Sizes Euro C-Max for 2012 N.A. Launch

American execs skipped last round of European products, losing their big bet on trucks. Now six Euro vehicles are promised.

by on Sep.17, 2009

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Grand C-Max offers seven passenger seating.

The Ford C-Max compact crossover that debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show this year is notable not only for the addition of a seven-passenger version to the freshened five-passenger model, but it will be the first of gen 2.5 compact C-cars that will belatedly find their way into North American markets.

The new Grand C-Max provides seven passenger seating in a relatively small compact package. There are sliding rear doors on both sides of the van. And anyone who has ever wrestled with getting a child into a child seat will love this; and even if you don’t have younger children – this Chrysler minivan inspired touch – makes loading so much easier.

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Owners can choose convenient 2+2+2 seating.

Better still, to maximize the versatility of the 7-seat layout, engineers have developed a new seat folding mechanism for the three second-row seats. It allows the center seat to fold under one of the two outboard seats, creating an aisle between them – especially nice when the outer seats are occupied by child seats or booster cushions. Owners, therefore, have the option of using the convenient 2+2+2 seating layout, or switching to seven-seats if need be.

C-Max will join the new Fiesta, the Transit Connect commercial van and the next-generation Ford Focus in late 2011 as one of six European-designed models promised by the company under its “One Ford” strategy. This roll-out will take a several years to complete.

This long overdue globalization – going all the way back to the failed Ford 2000 reorganization in the 1990s that didn’t deliver the promised common architectures and powertrains – is the recognition by American executives that their strategy, doggedly pursued under various Revitalization Plans of the past decade, actually resulted in record losses in 2008, as customers defected from the large trucks and SUVs that were at its core.

The new C-MAX models previewed at Frankfurt were in pre-production form prior to their European sales launch in late 2010, which means the U.S. version won’t arrive until about a year later.

Japanese makers, notably Toyota and Honda, have rewritten the gradual roll-out practices of the auto industry by offering simultaneous or rapid launches across global markets in less than 12 months.

(more…)