By on October 22, 2013

Ford Transit Connect Taxi in Hong Kong Circa October 2013

With a few successes under Ford’s strap with the American buckle, the Blue Oval made be known its aspirations to go for the world championship belt in ferrying drunk revelers and harried air travelers with their Transit Connect Taxi in its debut in Hong Kong.

“Ford Transit Connect Taxi has proven itself in taxi fleets across the U.S.,” said Ford’s head of global product development Raj Nair in a statement. “Now, we are building on that success, offering the vehicle for sale in even more markets, including global cities like Hong Kong.” The taxi, set to go on sale in 2014 globally, will run off of Hong Kong’s liquefied petroleum gas infrastructure, an option that has been available since 2010 in the U.S. domestic market alongside compressed natural gas and gasoline.

Under the hood, a 2.5-liter engine attached to a six-speed automatic will keep things moving smoothly, or as smooth as driving (or riding in) a taxi can be, at least. The new taxi is longer than the previous domestic-only models, with seating for up to five and more room for the myriad of baggage travelers will be dragging tiredly behind them. The taxi is also shorter for more clearance for strip club adverts on the roof, with a lower floor allowing for easier access, especially if converted for wheelchair use.

In exchange for spreading the love of the Transit Connect Taxi around the world, Ford has plans to bring the Transit Connect Wagon from Europe to the United States for the 2014 model year. The people carrier holds seven, and sips down a gallon of fuel every 30 miles on the highway. Ford truck communications manager Mike Levine has high hopes for the newest addition to the family:

We believe there’s an opportunity. The Transit Connect Wagon is virtually the same size as seven-passenger minvans were when they were introduced in the 1980s. Since then, they’ve gotten too big, too expensive and consume too much fuel.

The Transit Connect Taxi currently serves markets in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami, with the Blue Oval owning 60 percent of the taxi market. Ford offers the C-MAX Hybrid for taxi service, as well.

Photo credit: Ford

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27 Comments on “Ford’s Transit Taxi To Connect Passengers Worldwide...”

  • avatar

    “Ford has plans to bring the Transit Connect Wagon from Europe to the United States for the 2014 model year.”

    Hopefully TTAC will review it.

  • avatar

    I think there’s a typo with the link in the article, it links to:

    Which is the Institute for Traffic Accident Research, it makes no mention of a Ford or any other car/model.

  • avatar

    Who would take a Ford Transit Van when they have Toyota Crown taxis?

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly! And at least the Crowns have the propane tank in the trunk…

    • 0 avatar

      Well, the Transit Van would have greater passenger and cargo capacity than the tried and true Crown Comfort. The LPG tank does take up cargo space in the trunk/boot.

      There are a lot of wealthy people and entertainment celebrities in HK who get driven around in minivans like the Toyota Estima, so it wouldn’t be a surprise.

      However, it may take a little while for the HK drivers/operators to accept/switch – having driven the reliable, tried and true Crown Comfort for so long.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Robert Ryan
      I noticed in Europe they use Eurovans ie VW, Merc, Reno, etc and some Hyundai’s much the same as here in Australia.

      Even Merc Viano looks quite nice, rear wheel drive 3 litre V6 diesel.

  • avatar

    I didn’t go with a minivan because of the fragile transmissions that seem to be universal. These things are developing a reputation for reliability from many of the servicemen who are operating them. I think I’ll be watching them.

  • avatar

    “We believe there’s an opportunity. The Transit Connect Wagon is virtually the same size as seven-passenger minvans were when they were introduced in the 1980s. Since then, they’ve gotten too big, too expensive and consume too much fuel.”

    Seven passenger minivans have gotten bigger, heavier and more expensive, but they don’t consume more fuel than their 1980s predecessors. The 2014 Honda Odyssey is rated at 19 city and 28 highway. A 1985 Dodge Caravan with 2.2 liter 4 cylinder and 3 speed auto was rated at 17 city 20 highway when converted to the current scale. Ford is quoting a prospective 30 MPG highway rating for the Transit Connect Wagon. How it stacks up in the real world we’ll find out.

  • avatar

    Will they be subject to the “chicken Tax” since Ford got caught with the cargo version.

  • avatar

    It was nice of them to lower the roof to allow taller advertising, but passengers really like the ingress/egress the higher roof line of minvans provides, and lowering the floor doesn’t make up for it. ALL minivan taxis should be equipped with wheelchair ramps, and like the Toyota Crown, all should have a driver-operated passenger door. If these are purpose-built taxis, those two features should be standard, otherwise let taxi companies buy standard minivans and have them modified.

  • avatar

    There are VERY few Transit Connect in Miami. 90% of cabs here are still beaten Police Interceptor with check engine light on, slick tires, crappy window tints and opaque yellow headlights.
    But they are still far more comfortable than the Transit Connect with its super stiff rear suspension and rear seats, cabin noise, body roll and sliding doors.
    The good news is that cops don’t buy Transit Connect so once the Crown Vics are gone we should get Tauruses and Explorers. Long live full-size sedans!

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Mulally’s “One Ford” directive continues to pay dividends. It has been fascinating to see Ford’s progress since he took over. When he came in, the idea that in every size class there should be ONE Ford design lightly tweaked to serve customers world-wide was seen as quite a stretch. Now, it is taking hold more and more.

    Well done!

  • avatar

    “The Transit Connect Taxi currently serves markets in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami, ”

    I thought it is illegal in NY to drink Coca Cola and use Ford vehicles as a taxi. Isn’t it Nissan that supposed to conquer the world as a taxi or it is only in Mayor Bloomberg’s imagination (he has a good one though).

    • 0 avatar

      Because the NV wasn’t ready in time they did approve some interm options that included the Transit Wagon. However the NV madate was overturned so it looks like operators are free to at least buy those vehicles on the interm list again.

    • 0 avatar

      Everything Scoutdude said plus the “All NYC Taxis will be Nissan NV’s” only apply to ‘Yellow Cabs’. IIRC ‘Black Cab’ taxis were never subject to that rule. They could operate whatever they want and still can. Subject to other regulations of course, but I am pretty sure that the regulations on Black Cabs are more lax than on Yellow Cabs.

  • avatar

    Scoutdude and DevilsRotary86 (RX-7 owner, by chance?) are right. Only medallion yellow taxis were supposed to be the Nissan NV200. Since the taxi commission’s decree was overturned last month, all the interim choices are still valid until further notice.

    I live in Brooklyn very close to the Manhattan Bridge. Most of the new yellow taxis I see are the Fords, C-Max Hybrids and Transit Connect. The Camry Hybrid too, of course.

    I’m sure the Nissan NV, even though no longer NYC’s “Taxi of Tomorrow,” will show up on our streets before Thanksgiving. And hopefully not be a turkey.

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