2011 Ford C-MAX

2011 Ford C-MAX

Ford has already confirmed that its boxy C-MAX will be arriving in the U.S. late next year and now the Blue Oval has revealed that hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the car are in the pipeline, although only European plans have been announced thus far. But with the U.S. being the world’s biggest market for hybrid vehicles, you can rest assure that these eco-friendlier models will eventually make their way into local showrooms as well.

The C-MAX is essentially a roomier version of the new 2012 Ford Focus and is more closely related to an MPV rather than a hatchback. Local production is eventually expected to take place alongside the new Focus in Ford's Wayne assembly plant in Michigan, which means hybrid versions of the Focus may also be launched--we already know that an all-electric version is in the works.

As for the hybrid and plug-in hybrid C-MAX models, Ford will build the European versions at its plant in Valencia, Spain starting in 2013. This same plant will also build seven-seater versions of the regular, non-electrified C-MAX for the North American market from next year onwards.

Ford has significant experience with hybrid vehicles in North America and will now extend this expertise to Europe as part of the company's aggressive global electrified vehicles strategy. This is an interesting turnaround in strategy as up until now hybrids have strictly been the domain of North America for most major automakers, apart from Honda and Toyota of course.