|The Ford Transit Connect van is coming to North America.|
Ford is bringing its European-engineered and manufactured Ford Transit Connect compact van to the commercial vehicle market in North America. To be introduced at the Chicago Auto Show, Transit Connect is designed to bring American small business owners a new vehicle choice that offers improved fuel economy, bigger load capacity and better cargo accessibility.
Rather than the 1.8-liter Duratorq diesel engines featured in the Transit Connect in Europe, the version headed for North American offers a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine and automatic transmission. The North American version of the Transit Connect delivers fuel economy estimated at 19 mpg US city and 24 mpg US highway. The 66 kW (88 hp) version of the 1.8L Duratorq on the European cycle delivers 30 mpg US (7.9L/100km) city and 40.6 mpg US (5.8L/100km) highway.
Transit Connect is targeted at a new market (a “white-space product”) for North America. Its closest competitors are cargo vans offered by Chevrolet and Dodge. Compared to those, Transit Connect will provide a significant city fuel economy advantage, while offering more cargo space, according to Ford.
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. 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.—Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development
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 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. More than 5 million Transit units have been manufactured since 1965.
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.