Just because Ford canceled a plan to build the seven-passenger Focus minivan, it doesn’t have to mean that it has totally given up on the chance of offering a three-row compact minivan.
Last week, Ford announced that as the market is concerned about fuel economy, it will soon present the Focus C-Max hybrid and the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid. These two vehicles are five-door hatchbacks.
Ford also said that the seven-passenger minivan, which will share the C-Max name and which is slated to be start selling in 2012, won’t be available in the U.S.
The plan had been for four-cylinder gasoline engine to power this model and that production will be done in Michigan. For now, the vehicle is offered in Europe.
A source said that this vehicle will be priced from $24,000 to $25,000, which means that it will go up against the bigger Dodge Grand Caravan. It wasn’t seen to have a good business case; however, Ford has another option, the Transit Connect. It is believed that within the next few years, the next-gen Transit Connect will arrive.
This more refined vehicle will be built in North America. Turkey is where the existing version comes from. For now, the TC is aimed at the taxi and delivery business.
Aside from gasoline and electric versions, there are also models that have side windows and panels. The current Transit Connect is a five-seater but a seven-passenger version may be a viable option for urban young families that don't need a vehicle that’s as big as the Grand Caravan.