Any manufacturer competing in Europe's healthy small minivan market will be inspecting the Ford stand closely at this year's Geneva auto show.
Debuting is Ford's innovative B-Max, which does away with a B-pillar to allow passengers wide access into the small minivan.
A combination of rear sliding doors and conventional front doors gives a 1.5-meter wide access to the cabin without, Ford says, any loss of crash safety or body stiffness. Families in Europe are expected to be big customers for the B-Max, which will not be sold in the United States, and it could be a hit with elderly buyers too.
Door innovation isn't new among minivan makers. The Opel/Vauxhall Meriva was Europe's best-selling small minivan last year, with sales of 127,439 units, according to JATO Dynamics.