Ford Romania to halt B-Max output for 7 days next month

Article by Anita Panait, on August 30, 2013

Ford Motor will stop output for one week in September at its Craiova site in Romania to adjust to weak market demand in Europe. Ford commenced building its B-Max model at the Craiova site in 2013 and currently produces 370 cars and about 1,000 engines daily at the site.

Ford Romania spokeswoman Ana Maria Timis confirmed that the unit will have seven days of no B-Max production next month, adding that the instance is "a very common situation for the auto industry." According to Timis, around 2,500 employees -- representing around half of Ford Romania's workforce -- will be affected by the production halt.

The workers, however, will receive 80 percent of their wages for the week. In July, Ford revised upwards its earnings forecast for full year 2013 following unchanged pre-tax loss in Europe of around $1.8 billion from $2 billion.

Ford recently shut down two ancillary plants in the United Kingdom and has intentions to close its Genk assembly line in Belgium at the end of next year.

Much like the Ford Fiesta, the B-MAX is based mainly on the brand’s very own worldwide B-car platform. Having a stylish and smart exterior mixed in with versatility and exceptional space, it comes as no surprise to learn that the B-MAX is what Ford expects from a compact premium multi-activity vehicle (MAV). An interesting feature of the B-MAX is the Easy Access Door System.

What this distinct feature showcases are the front doors being hinged like traditional models with the rear doors having the ability to slide. In addition, the usual central pillar structure has been incorporated in both the front doors and the rear doors unlike in a number of traditional vehicles wherein this structure is part of the vehicle’s bodyshell.

Should the doors in the front and the rear be opened simultaneously, the access to the inside is unmatched, given the opening that measures at least 1.5 meters wide. Unlike those offered by the brand’s rivals, even those having alternative door concepts, the opening in the new B-MAX is twice as wide. This makes it easy to do a number of activities like entering or exiting the seats in the rear, unloading or loading grocery bags, or even helping children in the child seats.

In terms of overall length, the B-MAX is at least 4 meters, making it shorter by 30 cm compared to the C-MAX but longer than the five-door Fiesta by 13 cm. This allows the model to meet the rather fast and increasing demand for downsized cars.

As such, the B-MAX is perfect for congested urban areas but not at the expense of passenger comfort or interior space. Considered as a concept that is truly ground-breaking, the B-MAX was created after a rather rigorous innovation project.

Teams at Ford took the time to study drivers doing their usual routine like getting children from school or even going shopping, to name a few. The goal was to be able to appreciate just what it is customers wanted when it came to a compact car.

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