Ford confirmed that an investment of up to $36 million, which is partly funded by the Spanish government, will be used to build its first hybrid models for Europe at its Valencia plant. This factory will also produce the seven-seat C-Max MPV for North America.
These vehicles, which are set to be launched in 2013, will be derivatives of the redesigned 5-seater 2010 C-Max MPV, namely: a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).
Starting in late 2011, the Valencia plant will also be producing a seven-seat version of the C-Max for export to North America. In the next several weeks, the European-designed but Mexican-built Fiesta will arrive. Later this year, Ford will also introduce the Michigan-built 2011 Focus, with which the C-Max shares its platform.
John Fleming, Ford of Europe chairman and CEO, said that these new models are key to Ford's commitment to deliver a portfolio of alternative powertrain vehicles worldwide and to European customers in the next few years.
Fleming added that the Valencia plant will produce these new C-Max five-seat hybrid models exclusively for European customers who want a practical, efficient and affordable environmental vehicle.
He also said that the export to North America of the new Grand C-Max petrol model starting in late 2011 opens a new era of production for the team at the plant.
By 2013, Ford intends to introduce five battery electric vehicle (BEV) and hybrid models in Europe. Joining the C-Max derivatives are the full EV Transit Connect, which will arrive in 2011; and a battery-electric Focus that's due in 2012. Details of the fifth vehicle, believed to be a hybrid-electric, will be announced later.