Why Ford put 5, not 7 seats in the C-Max
By Bradford Wernle
Automotive News Europe / March 10, 2003
In the end, Ford's much debated decision to make its C-Max compact minivan with five and not seven seats hinged on the extra weight penalty Ford did not believe its customers wanted to pay.
"For every Focus C-Max, there's a competitor carrying a 90kg weight penalty for something they don't need and never use," said Martin Leach, president of Ford of Europe. "If you really need to carry seven people, drive a Galaxy."
Ford's decision was also swayed by its own view of its strongest brand attributes, one of which is driving dynamics. Ford believes the C-Max will drive more like a car without the third row of seats and achieve better fuel economy.
Ford killed its previous Focus MPV program after the Opel/Vauxhall Zafira appeared with seven seats.
The C-Max is the first car to be launched from the C Technologies engineering venture involving Ford, Mazda and Volvo.
Chris Bird, Ford of Europe's chief designer, said the new C-Max gives a hint of what the next Focus looks like: "We're working on softer shapes, and not doing everything with sharp edges."
C-Max is one of the last major products in Ford's five-year European Transformation Strategy plan during which Ford promised to deliver "45 in 5" - 45 new or updated products in five years.
Leach said Ford would soon have news about what will follow the 45 in 5 program, probably at the Frankfurt auto show in September.
(Photo)The Ford Focus C-Max fascia will be repeated in the next-generation Focus, especially the flush grille. Chris Bird, Ford of Europe design boss, said the dimensions of the C-Max are identical to other Focus products. "The creases will stay the same, but with a more robust, softer look," added Ford design chief J Mays: "It's more sophisticated, upscale and refined. Some of the interior was a bit over the top."
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....