Ford Motor Co. begins production of the new C-Max cross/utility vehicle at its plant in Saarlouis, Germany.

The new C-Max is slated to be launched across Europe beginning in May, Ford says. Annual production volume is expected to be 129,000 units.

The Saarlouis plant is currently operating at its maximum daily capacity of three shifts producing 1,920 units. In addition to the C-Max, the plant assembles the European version of the Ford Focus.

The plant employs 6,400 workers and supports an additional 2,000 that are employed in a neighboring supplier industrial park, Ford says.