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Image credits: © Ford.

2009 Ford Transit Connect news, pictures, specifications, and information

Purpose-Built: Ford Transit Connect Delivers Unique Compact Versatility For American Business

• Purpose-built for small business owners, the Ford Transit Connect is a versatile compact van that offers a fuel-efficient alternative to full-size commercial vans.

• Transit Connect, debuting at the Chicago Auto Show, is another example of how Ford is leveraging its global product lineup. Transit Connect is designed, engineered and manufactured by Ford of Europe. It was named International Van of the Year when launched in 2003.

• Ford is the Commercial Vehicle leader in the Ú.S. wîth 40 percent share of the total commercial vehicle market and has been the full-size van leader wîth the Ford E-Series for 29-years running. Transit Connect further builds Ford's strong commercial vehicle portfolio.


Ford is tapping its global product strengths to mobilize and connect small business owners in North America wîth the European-engineered Ford Transit Connect.

Introduced today at the Chicago Auto Show, Transit Connect is designed to bring American small business owners a new vehicle choice that offers improved fuel economy, bigger load capacity and better cargo accessibility than today's commercial vehicle offerings.

Vital Stats
Engine : 2.0 L., 4-cylinder

Automatic
'Ford Transit Connect is built on a dedicated, commercial vehicle platform to meet the rigors business use demands. This workhorse is like nothing available today in the American market,' said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development.


'The Transit Connect provides another example of Ford's commitment to deliver 100 percent new or upgraded products that people truly want and value by the end of 2010,' he §äid.

With its standard, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission, Transit Connect delivers fuel economy estimated at 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.

Transit Connect will be a truly white-space product for North America. Its closest competitors are cargo vans offered by Chevrolet and Dodge. Transit Connect will provide a significant city fuel economy advantage, while offering more cargo space. Both are increasingly important to small business owners in today's changing marketplace.

'More than ever before, consumers are making the bulk of their purchases from the Internet and smaller, specialty businesses, which is increasing the volume of small package deliveries,' said Kuzak. 'Transit Connect is ideally suited to meet those delivery needs because of its flexible package, compact size and fuel-efficient powertrain. It will make the delivery process for small business owners easier and more affordable.'

Global Product Innovation
Designed, engineered and manufactured by Ford of Europe to beat tough, medium commercial vehicle standards, Transit Connect has been a sales success for Ford across the Atlantic and is an ideal option for small business owners in North America.

'Ford is intensifying its efforts to leverage the best of our Ford product portfolio around the world,' Kuzak §äid. 'In Europe, this tough small van has carved out a niche for itself, building on the strength of the Transit name – which is synonymous wîth commercial vehicle leadership in Europe. Transit Connect can make a real difference to customers here.'

Transit Connect was named International Van of the Year by an independent panel of leading commercial vehicle journalists representing 19 European countries when first launched in 2003.

Editors credited Ford for listening to the wants and demands of customers, both large and small and heralded the 'long list of clever and practical solutions in the areas of handling, accessibility, security and safety' that Ford Transit Connect introduced.

Car+Van+Truck = Transit Connect
Complementing its truck toughness, Transit Connect handles and performs like a car and offers car-like fuel economy, interior comforts and safety features. 'It drives like a car, works like a van and is engineered to be as tough as a truck,' said Rob Stevens, Chief Engineer of Ford Transit Connect in the Ú.S.

This compact van was built around the following key attributes:

• Class-leading cargo area functionality and versatility

• High levels of durability through the use of thick, high-strength steel and a reinforced body shell wîth partial double skin sides and twin side crossmembers

• Responsive and fuel-efficient powertrain

• High levels of security and safety, wîth a rigid body structure, side impact protection, dual front air bags and an array of security features, including a lockable hood

• Low cost of ownership, from lower fuel costs to powertrain durability


Opening wîth Versatility
Transit Connect has cargo doors on both sides and at the rear – dual sliding side doors and 180-degree-opening rear doors – that make accessing its generous cargo area convenient. Its front doors have large openings, making getting in and out of the vehicle easy – an important design feature for delivery people.

For its size and urban maneuverability, the Transit Connect cargo capacity is a massive 143 cubic feet. It can accommodate loads up to 6.5 ft. in length and 4.7 ft. in width.

'Transit Connect can swallow far more cargo than its users might think,' said Len Deluca, Director of Ford Commercial Trucks.

'Its versatile cargo area gives Transit Connect an unequivocal advantage, accommodating for large, flat-sided loads and providing a totally flat load floor,' he §äid.

Straight and square side walls of the Transit Connect also mean business on the outside. They provide a clean surface and perfect positioning for commercial branding logos and messages.
Inside, storage systems can make Transit Connect ideal for specific businesses.

For the Chicago show, Ford kitted out Transit Connects highlighting three local businesses – including a catering and event planning company, a wine wholesaler and home technology integration firm – as well as a five-member Chicago blues band.

The Windy City is a fitting place to debut the versatile Transit Connect. Its maneuverability makes it ideal for urban use, where streets are congested and parking space for delivery or service vehicles is limited. Its tight turning radius makes Transit Connect as nimble as a compact car. And its height makes it ideal for tight parking garages wîth limited-height clearances – Transit Connect gets in and out of garages wîth as little as 6 ft. 8 in. clearance.

Established Credentials
Transit Connect is part of a family of Transit commercial vehicles offered across Europe. Since the introduction of the Transit Connect, Ford's share of the European light and medium duty commercial vehicle market has doubled to 34 percent. In record-setting 2007, Ford sold 109,900 Transit Connects and 224,915 Transits in Europe.

For more than 40 years, the Transit brand has synonymous wîth commercial vehicle excellence, a success which continues to grow. In 2007, Ford achieved an all-time record European commercial vehicle retail volume across its 19-market region, including individual model volume records for Transit Connect and the Ford Transit medium commercial van. More than 5 million Transit units have been manufactured since 1965.

Thanks largely to E-Series, Ford is the reigning Commercial Vehicle leader in the Ú.S. wîth 40 percent share of the total commercial vehicle market and has been the full-size van leader wîth E-Series for 29 years running.

Transit Connect is manufactured in Kocaeli, Turkey, at Ford's most advanced light commercial vehicle assembly plant. It will be available in select North American markets in mid-2009.

Source - Ford

FORD TRANSIT CONNECT CATERS TO MY CHEF SPECIALIZED DELIVERY NEEDS, SPICING UP ‘A-TO-B' BUSINESS TRANSPORT

With the new Transit Connect, Ford has dished up a fresh transportation option for My Chef Catering in Naperville, Ill.

A local and national award-winning operation, My Chef Catering specializes in event services for corporate and social clients. My Chef arranges details ranging from tables, china and linens to entertainment, flowers and photographers, making it a local favorite for the past 18 years for a wide range of clients, including Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

'We cater 3,500 events every year in the Chicago area,' explained Bill Garlough, co-founder of My Chef wîth his wife, Karen. 'We rely on our trucks to get our people and food safely to our destinations. A lot of our time is spent on the road.'

Twenty-five employees strong, My Chef caters to all types of events from weddings to corporate meetings, social events to picnics and barbecues. The firm owns a fleet of vehicles, including two box trucks, two cargo vans, two refrigerated vans and two SÚVs.

With an annual average of 20,000 miles per vehicle, Karen Garlough says she avoids lòòking at the fuel bill every month as gas prices seem to go up every day. She believes the compact size and fuel efficiency of the Transit Connect makes it an attractive option for My Chef.

'Transit Connect would allow us to make long distance runs wîth smaller loads – quicker and more economically than wîth our box trucks,' Bill Garlough explained.


He also believes Transit Connect will help make life easier for the My Chef employee team. Its low lift height makes loading and unloading easier, plus the vehicle's excellent load-door accessibility and its aftermarket shelving system makes for less jumping in and out the vehicle.

'A happy staff means a happy owner,' he §äid.

My Chef has received numerous awards during the past five years, most recently winning the Ú.S. Chamber of Commerce's Small Business of the Year Award for 2007. Presented in Washington D.C., during a ceremony at the annual Chamber Summit, My Chef was selected from thousands of applicants across the Únited States. Recognized for its leadership in the , My Chef Catering stands apart wîth its committed community service program. It donates 2 percent of annual sales donated in the form of cash or donations of goods and services to benefit those in need within the local community.

Source - Ford

TRANSIT CONNECT GIVES CHICAGO'S BEST WINE SHOP FLEXIBILITY TO SECURELY DELIVER ITS TOP VINTAGE

The Ford Transit Connect could be the perfect vintage for Schaefer's, hailed as Chicago's best wine shop by the Chicago Tribune.

A local favorite since 1936, Schaefer's has built a large and growing base of customers, many of whom depend on the firm's delivery service. George J. Schaefer, Sr. started the business as a tavern serving beer and sandwiches, transformed it to a package store in the 1940s, and then added fine wine and foods – plus a delivery service to Chicagoland communities – in the 1950s.

Thanks to free deliveries in the nearby communities for orders more than $25, Schaefer's delivery team is busy. With dedicated drivers and two full-size cargo vans, deliveries represent a big part of Schaefer's commitment to excellent customer service. But like all small businesses, Schaefer's is facing cost pressures.

'We are experts in customer service, and we want to deliver our products at competitive prices,' says Gene Schaefer Flynn, president and daughter of the original owner. 'While the price of fuel goes up, we have chosen to continue to offer free deliveries and not increase prices as to not pass on the cost to our customers.'

Beyond fuel economy, Flynn said she also was impressed wîth the versatility of Transit Connect.

'I love the two tier storage system, which helps us keep lighter, more fragile items separate from heavier packages,' Flynn §äid. 'And as a woman, I appreciate the compact size of Transit Connect, which makes it very easy to drive.'


Schaefer's also evaluates delivery trucks based on cargo carrying capacity, safety, and durability. The firm typically keeps its delivery vans five to six years.

The founder's son, George Schaefer, Jr., who oversees the purchasing and maintenance of the fleet, believes Ford's Transit Connect will be a cost-effective choice that will help the firm continue delivering to its high standard. He believes it is better suited to the urban driving environment than full-size vans.

As Schaefer's looks to Transit Connect for its future, the family firm continues to grow. It now employs 30 full-time staff, and a third generation of the family is serving often life-long customers.

Source - Ford

FORD TRANSIT CONNECT HITS THE RIGHT NOTE WITH LEGENDARY BLUES MAN EDDIE SHAW AND THE WOLF GANG

Ford's Transit Connect is nimble enough to get legendary blues man Eddie Shaw, his band the Wolf Gang and all their gear to the hottest music clubs in cities around the world.

When the blues resurgence was in full swing in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Eddie Shaw was in the mix. Shaw, a tenor sax, was right in the midst of some of the seminal blues recordings going down in a few Windy City studios. He played gigs wîth Hound Dog Taylor, Freddie King, Otis Rush, Earl Hooker and Magic Sam.

Today, Shaw is on the road more than 200 days a year wîth the Wolf Gang in cities around the world, and they appreciate affordable vehicles that can also carry the band's full kit.

'I think the Transit Connect is going to be the car of the year for musicians,' said Eddie Shaw, Chicago's number one Blues horn player. 'It's economical, gas mileage is great, there's good storage room in it, you can get a couple of guys in there. I can put my horn in there and my woman – and I'm gone.'

Transit Connect's compact size and tall cargo area make it the ideal shape to squeeze into the tight parking spots found in most major cities.

'It's tough sometimes to find a place to park, and I think the Transit Connect is the right vehicle. The top is high, and you can pack your stuff high, can slide into any parking space – and I can grab my horn out of the back and walk right in, and I'm cool,' said Shaw. 'I think this is the right car for musicians, coming at the right time.'

Source - Ford

FORD OF EUROPE'S TRANSIT CONNECT LIGHT VAN TO BE SOLD IN NORTH AMERICA

Ford of Europe confirmed today that its award-winning Ford Transit Connect light van is to be sold in selected North American markets from mid-2009.
Speaking at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show where the Transit Connect is being shown for the first time in North America, Derrick Kuzak, group vice president global product development, Ford Motor Company, said: 'Transit Connect is another example of how Ford is intensifying its efforts to leverage the best of its product lineup around the world.

'Designed, engineered and manufactured by Ford of Europe to beat tough, medium commercial vehicle standards, Transit Connect has been a sales success for Ford across the Atlantic and is an ideal option for owners of small businesses in the Ú.S.,' he added.

Named 'International Van of the Year 2003' when first launched, the Ford Transit Connect is manufactured at the advanced Ford Otosan assembly plant in Kocaeli, Turkey. The Transit Connect will offer American small businesses a fuel-efficient alternative to full-size commercial vans.

'This workhorse is like nothing available today in the American marketplace,' said John Felice, General Manager Ford Division. 'With its standard, 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine and automatic transmission, the Transit Connect can make a real difference to customers here.'

The Transit Connect is built around a number of key product attributes, including:

• High levels of durability through the use of thick, high-strength steel and a reinforced body shell wîth partial double skin sides and twin side crossmembers


• A class-leading cargo area functionality and versatility

• A responsive and fuel-efficient powertrain

• High levels of security and safety, wîth a rigid body structure, side impact protection, dual front air bags and an array of security features, including a lockable hood

• Low cost of ownership, from lower fuel costs to powertrain durability


Transit Connect is part of a family of award-winning Transit commercial vehicles offered by Ford across Europe. For more than 40 years, the Transit brand name has been synonymous wîth commercial vehicle excellence, a success which continues to grow.

In 2007, Ford achieved an all-time record European commercial vehicle retail volume across its 19 main European markets, including individual model volume records for Transit Connect and the Ford Transit medium commercial van range. More than five million Ford Transits have been manufactured since 1965.

In the Ú.S., Ford is the reigning commercial vehicle leader wîth 40 per cent share of the total commercial vehicle market and has been the full-size van leader wîth the E-Series for 29 consecutive years.

'We're very proud of Ford's reputation for tough commercial vehicles around the world,' said John Fleming, President and CEO, Ford of Europe. 'We're even more proud of the fact that it is the popular Transit Connect which will be the first European Ford commercial to go on sale in North America. I have every confidence that customers there will appreciate its unique blend of qualities.'

Source - Ford

FORD TRANSIT CONNECT IS A ‘NECESSARY UPGRADE' FOR CONNECTIVITY ENGINEERS AT NEW YORK'S BRI-TECH

For Bri-Tech, an innovative New York company built around connectivity, the Ford Transit Connect is the ideal transportation technology.

Founded by Brian McAuliff, a self-confessed 'geek,' Bri-Tech is a leading custom integrator of high-end electronics for homes and businesses.

At 23 years old, McAuliff decided to start a technology consulting firm, establishing his place of business in his parents' basement on Long Island. He eventually could afford to expand his offerings wîth and audio/video business, moved out of the basement and brought in his two younger brothers, Mark and Michael, to help him run the company.

Today, the three McAuliff brothers have a 12,000-foot facility in their native Long Island wîth a staff of 40 people. Every year, Bri-Tech handles more than 200 corporate installations and 50 home installations.

'We service corporations in Manhattan, Long Island and New Jersey, and we work wîth luxury homes from the Hamptons to upstate New York,' explains McAuliff. 'When gas prices go up, we feel the pinch. The Transit Connect will help alleviate some of those costs wîth its fuel economy.'

Beyond fuel efficiency, McAuliff is impressed wîth the Transit Connect's design.


'Our vehicles are our calling cards,' says McAuliff, explaining that potential customers notice Bri-Tech vehicles more than the company's magazine ads.

'Our trucks are an important part of our marketing efforts, and we spend a lot of time designing them,' he §äid. 'The Transit Connect is great because it is hip and contemporary, versatile and professional-lòòking. It will set us apart from the competition.'

The team at Bri-Tech upgrades its technologies and software whenever they become available. Transit Connect is one more upgrade they're lòòking forward to.

Source - Ford
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