Transit Connect set to attack small van sector
2004-04-02 - By Philip Byrne
Ford Ireland is looking to build on its leadership of the commercial van market with the introduction in February of the short wheelbase Transit Connect. Available from €14,500 ex-works, it provides Ford with a highly competitive offering in the sub 1-tonne segment.
Built on a dedicated commercial vehicle platform, the Transit Connect brings all the hardworking attributes of the top-selling Transit van into this smaller segment, and combines them with the specific needs of the small van customer. To reliability and robustness are added manoeuvrability, ease of driving and maximum use of space.
Higher and wider than the Escort van, the shortwheel base Transit Connect has a maximum cubic capacity of 3.4cu.m and can take payloads of up to 825kg - the best in its class. With the passenger seat folded flat, it can take loads up to 2.7meters in length.
The Transit Connect SWB is available in a choice of 1.8 Duratorq diesel engines, delivering 75 and 90PS, the latter with the acclaimed TDCi common rail unit, boasting a level of refinement rarely encountered in a commercial vehicle.
Specification levels are high, with driver's airbag and central locking as standard. 6-way adjustable driver seat, tinted glass and courtesy lights make for a pleasant interior environment for the hardworking driver, while the power windows, front fog lights and remote radio/CD system distinguish the LX model as a lot more than just a rugged workhorse.
"A vast number of customers in this sector do not require the added payload and capacity of the long wheelbase model," explains Eddie Murphy, Chairman and Managing Director, Ford Ireland. "This new van certainly answers a need among many operators for a highly mobile vehicle with a big appetite for work but a very affordable price tag. We are opening up the values of Transit to a whole new market here."
The Transit Connect was voted International Van of the Year 2003 by a record margin.