In production at Ford’s factory in Romania since June 2012, the B-Max will be put out to pasture in the first half of September. The mini MPV never took off in terms of sales, so it doesn’t really come as a big surprise it’s about to get the axe especially since the EcoSport set to replace it on the assembly line has a much bigger potential.
That’s the trend nowadays in the car market as crossovers of all sizes and shapes are effectively killing minivans. The Blue Oval is gearing up for the EcoSport’s rollout by hiring approximately 1,700 people at the former Daewoo plant in Craiova and is scheduled to kick off production of the subcompact crossover sometime this fall.
Ford hasn’t actually revealed the new Europe-bound version of the EcoSport, but chances are it will look virtually the same as the updated U.S.-spec model pictured in the gallery below. Since production is slated to commence in just a few months, we will likely see it in the metal at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show in September or even sooner on the World Wide Web. Just like its American cousin, the EcoSport destined to be sold on the old continent is expected to ditch the bulky spare wheel affixed to the tailgate to enable a cleaner look.
It’s going to be interesting to see whether Ford will sell the European EcoSport with an all-wheel-drive system as it’s the case in the U.S. Only a few B-segment Euro crossovers are available with AWD, so we’ll have to wait and see if Ford’s offering will join the small crowd. If so, the grippy version will probably be available only on the higher-end trim levels and with the most powerful engines.
The EcoSport won’t be Ford’s only subcompact high-riding vehicle in Europe as the new Fiesta has received a somewhat rugged FWD-only Active trim with a jacked-up suspension and additional plastic body cladding to serve as an alternative to conventional crossovers.