California Autos Examiner

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Transit Connect heads to showrooms with a base of $21,475

Right-sized delivery vehicles are just one way that we can achieve better efficiencies in our transportation network. Below is the press release from Ford announcing the MSRP of the Transit Connect and the availability of an electric model with a ~100 mile range.

Ford is tapping its global portfolio of products to meet the unique needs of American small-business owners with the 2010 Transit Connect, a spacious new fuel-efficient alternative to larger commercial vehicles that’s ideal for navigating U.S. cities.

“Transit Connect is a tangible success of our ‘One Ford’ strategy to harness the best of our global products and offer new choices and solutions to customers in other parts of the world,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas.

“With 40 percent market share, Ford is the reigning Commercial Truck leader in the United States, and we’re looking for Transit Connect to further grow our leadership and allow even more customers to experience the ‘Built Ford Tough’ difference.”

Transit Connect arrives with a global reputation for durability and toughness dating back to its 2003 launch, when an expert jury of European commercial vehicle journalists named it International Van of the Year.

Ford Transit Connect is built on a dedicated front-wheel drive commercial vehicle platform to meet and exceed the needs of small-business owners and entrepreneurs. To prepare Transit Connect for United States duty, the powertrain was upgraded to include a proven Duratec 2.0-liter dual-overhead cam (DOHC) I-4 engine – giving 22 city, 25 highway miles per gallon – and a four-speed automatic overdrive transaxle. Several design details, including the grille and interior touches, have been updated to lend the vehicle a fresh, new look for its American debut.

As part of Ford’s aggressive new electric vehicle plan to bring pure battery-powered vehicles, hybrids and plug-in hybrids to market, a battery electric-powered Transit Connect will be offered later in 2010. The Transit Connect battery electric vehicle will be the initial offering in Ford’s recently announced electrification initiatives.

Ford is working with Smith Electric Vehicles, the European market’s leading battery electric upfitter of commercial vehicles, a part of the U.K.-based Tanfield Group of companies. Since 1920, Smith has converted tens of thousands of commercial vehicles to battery electric-power.

Many commercial users travel predictable, short-range routes, with lots of stop and go in urban and suburban environments. A range of up to 100 miles makes the battery electric-powered Transit Connect a useful hauler, with significantly reduced operation and maintenance costs. For companies aiming for sustainable mobility solutions, it can help them deliver the goods in an environmentally friendly way.

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