Ford look set to finally unveil the Ford B-Max – the replacement for the Ford Fusion – at the Geneva Motor Show 2011.
The Ford Fusion arrived in 2002 as a stretched version of the Ford Fiesta – a mini MPV. And for a while it did pretty well in the sales charts, reaching a peak in 2007 as second only to Vauxhall’s Meriva. But its slide since then has been significant and last year it languished in fifth place with sales of 30,000.
So the planned start of production of the Ford B-Max – replacement for the Fusion and based on the latest Fiesta – was not a moment too soon. But despite reporting back in January that Ford planned to start B-Max production at its plant in Craiova, Romania this year, it hasn’t happened.
The problem for Ford was a lack of funding as the world economy went in to meltdown and Ford was fighting for its very survival. So the plans to push on with an investment of €675 million in the Romanian plant and get B-Max production underway were delayed.
But Ford are now back in profit and steaming ahead, with the Ford B-Max – a five seat mini MPV with sliding doors – now scheduled to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2011 before going on sale at the end of 2011. By the end of this year Ford will have invested a third of the planned €675 million in Craiova and will be building 150,000 B-Max a year from 2012.
And if the B-Max is as half as good as the Fiesta, the Meriva will need to watch out.