As the company had expected, the Transit Connect is catching on with small business owners. Early buyers among small businesses have been laundry mats, caterers, door and lock companies, painters, electricians, restaurant suppliers, satellite dish installers, carpet installers and commercial carpet cleaners. In Charlotte, N.C., Ford sold seven TCs to Neil Medical Group, a firm that delivers medical supplies to nursing homes and convalescent centers.
"We see rising optimism among small business owners and strong demand for arriving Transit Connect vehicles among this group as reflections of an encouraging economic uptick," said Len Deluca, director, Ford commercial truck sales and marketing.
According to the company, Chicago has seen the most sales of the Transit Connect for fleet and business use.
"A customer called a Chicago dealer, asking about Transit Connect," said Jody Slucker, commercial business manager in Ford's North Central region. "When the salesperson responded that the first two units had just arrived, the caller promised to be there in 15 minutes. He took both vehicles."
Meanwhile, Southern California is leading the retail market for sales to nonbusiness users.
"Dealers in my region are telling me Transit Connect is generating incremental sales," said Butch Gosline, commercial business manager for Ford's Mid-Atlantic region. "The unique combination of payload, compact overall dimensions and fuel economy is bringing in customers they've never seen before."
Read more about the Ford Transit Connect in the September issue of Heavy Duty Trucking magazine.