That’s right – Ford is set to unveil a new compact people-mover at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The new model, most likely to be called the B-Max, will utilize the same Ford global B-segment architecture as the current Fiesta and will replace the maturing Fusion in The Blue Oval’s European lineup.
According to LeftLaneNews, European sales of the B-Max will begin in early 2012, with initial production taking place at Ford’s Craiova plant in Romania. According to LLN, other manufacturing facilities have not been ruled out.
The B-Max will be squarely positioned to take on Europe’s best-selling compact MPV, the Opel Meriva. As such, the Blue Oval’s offering will seat five and – unlike the Meriva – will feature dual sliding rear doors (the Meriva has suicide-style rear doors). No word on styling quite yet, but there are a few spy shots floating around the web that conceal what seems to be sheetmetal very much evocative of the Fiesta.
The Motrolix Take
Well this news story just made my day. For ages (even before the founding of Motrolix), we’ve been huge supporters for Ford to update the long-in-the-tooth European Fusion… and change its name while they’re at it – since having two completely different vehicles wearing the same nameplate across two continents doesn’t help, especially when it comes to web searches and the ever-benevolent “Google Juice.”
That said, whether the mini MPV will make its way Stateside is unknown at the time of this writing. However, if Ford can make a business case for sedan and hatchback versions of the inexpensive Fiesta, we’d assume it can do the same for what will possibly be a more highly-priced B-Max MPV.
Source and Image Credit: LeftLaneNews