“The whole square thing is great,” remarks Jim Farley, Ford Global vp of Marketing and Communications, of the Ford Transit Connect. He adds clarification to his admiration of the geometric form of the compact van that will be coming to North America from its home in Europe by mid-2009: “As a former Scion guy.” Farley, of course, is referencing the Scion xB. Before joining Ford, Farley was with Toyota, and one of his jobs there was rolling out the Scion brand.
“Ford Transit Connect is built on a dedicated, commercial vehicle platform to meet the rigors business use demands,” according to Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development. The vehicle was launched in Europe in 2003. While it is available in European markets with a diesel under the hood, for the U.S. market a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine is standard; it is fitted to a four-speed automatic transmission.
It is boxiness with purpose: the cargo capacity of the Transit Connect is 143-ft3; it can handle loads 6.5-ft long and 4.7-ft wide.
Ford is bringing the car to North America from Europe. The Transit Connect is produced what Ford considers to be its “most advanced light commercial vehicle assembly plant,” which is located in Kocaeli, Turkey.
Kuzak says that the Transit Connect hadn’t been developed with the U.S. market in mind. However, he explains that because of the changes in the U.S. market that are based on things like greater efficiencies, the vehicle makes sense, particularly for commercial applications in cities. Are there other Ford products in other parts of the world that may also be applicable in the U.S.? Kuzak acknowledge that there are.—GSV