Ford's decision to offer a long-wheelbase, seven-seat version of the Transit Connect Wagon for the 2014 model year is paying off.
The seven-seater now makes up about 85 percent of Wagon sales. The short- and long-wheelbase versions combined average about 34 percent of total Transit Connect sales, including the cargo van. That compares with a 13 percent Wagon mix with the previous generation Transit Connect.
All together, Transit Connect sales totaled 4,090 in July, up 42 percent from July 2013 and the best July ever for the nameplate. June was the best month overall, with sales of 4,573.
Despite the long-wheelbase version's seven seats and sliding door, Ford is definitely not marketing it as a minivan. It has a hashtag -- #unminivan -- and a marketing campaign that relies primarily on social media, including Twitter and Facebook.
Minyang Jiang, Transit Connect Wagon brand manager, says buyers are not traditional minivan buyers: "They've really outgrown their minivans. They want smaller, more compact fuel-efficient vehicles. They want the sliding door and the third row. But they don't need the size and price tag of one of those fairly expensive minivans."