Ford Offers European-Designed Commercial Van
February 2008, TruckingInfo.com - Feature
Ford this month announced the European-engineered Transit Connect compact commercial van, aimed at small business owners.
Ford's Transit Connect will be available in the U.S. in 2009.
"Ford Transit Connect is built on a dedicated, commercial vehicle platform to meet the rigors business use demands," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development.
The Transit Connect is a small car-based panel van with sliding side doors. With its standard, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission, it delivers fuel economy estimated at 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.
"More than ever before, consumers are making the bulk of their purchases from the Internet and smaller, specialty businesses, which is increasing the volume of small package deliveries," said Kuzak. "Transit Connect is ideally suited to meet those delivery needs because of its flexible package, compact size and fuel-efficient powertrain. It will make the delivery process for small business owners easier and more affordable."
Transit Connect was named International Van of the Year by an independent panel of leading commercial vehicle journalists representing 19 European countries when first launched in 2003.
Transit Connect has cargo doors on both sides and at the rear - dual sliding side doors and 180-degree-opening rear doors - that make accessing its generous cargo area convenient. Its front doors have large openings, making getting in and out of the vehicle easy - an important design feature for delivery people.
The Transit Connect cargo capacity is 143 cubic feet. It can accommodate loads up to 6.5 feet in length and 4.7 feet in width, allowing for large, flat-sided loads and providing a totally flat load floor.
Straight and square side walls on the outside provide a clean surface and positioning for commercial branding logos and messages. Inside, storage systems can make Transit Connect ideal for specific businesses.
Transit Connect is part of a family of Transit commercial vehicles offered across Europe. Since the introduction of the Transit Connect, Ford's share of the European light and medium duty commercial vehicle market has doubled to 34 percent. In record-setting 2007, Ford sold 109,900 Transit Connects and 224,915 Transits in Europe.
Transit Connect is manufactured in Kocaeli, Turkey, at Ford's most advanced light commercial vehicle assembly plant. It will be available in select North American markets in mid-2009.
For more information visit www.ford.com.