Ford's van plan: More flexibility
DETROIT -- The Ford Transit, coming to dealerships in the first half of 2014, offers commercial customers three roof heights, three body lengths and two wheelbases.
It provides much more flexibility than the E series, the venerable van that it eventually will replace. Ford says the Transit will get 25 percent better fuel economy and will tow 300 pounds more than the E series.
In addition, Ford is redesigning the smaller Transit Connect for 2014.
Transit vans are the work vehicles of choice for Ford customers in 116 countries.
Ford COO Mark Fields said the company will sell E-series vans at least through 2014, even after Transit production has begun at Ford's Kansas City plant in Missouri. He spoke at the unveiling of the Transit at the Detroit auto show.
The company is investing $1.1 billion in the Kansas City plant to build a body shop and stamping plant, and to improve the paint shop.
The E series is assembled in Avon Lake, Ohio. Ford has been selling the E series for nearly 40 years.
The redesigned Transit Connect will be assembled in Valencia, Spain.
You can reach Bradford Wernle at email@example.com.