The upcoming Ford two-row C-Max Hybrid and plug-in C-Max Energi hybrid are still on track, but today Ford says it's canning the planned seven-seat, gas-powered C-Max minivan from its future product plan.

The three-row C-Max would have been Ford's first minivan on sale in North America since the Freestar departed its lineup in the mid-2000s.

Like the other C-Max models, the Focus and the upcoming Escape replacement, the C-Max minivan is a part of a global family of vehicles that also counts among its members the 2012 Mazda 5.

There's an upside for the not-even-born-yet nameplate in America; Ford says now that the three-row C-Max has been dropped from the North American product plan, the C-Max lineup will be hybrid-only, with its own body style--which could give it some marketing leverage against the best-selling Toyota Prius.

"This will be a real positive for the C-Max brand," said Ford spokesman Mark Schirmer.

Today's news comes as Ford is showing off new technology and hybrid build capacity in its global network. Come 2013, the company says, it will have the ability to build 100,000 electrified vehicles each year.

Other markets, including Europe, will continue to offer the seven-seat C-Max, where the vehicle's sold fairly well, Schirmer says.


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