(Everybody say “Hi!” to Nick, who is here to share his tale of Transit Connect ownership with the B&B! — JB)
Last year, when my wife and I were first looking at minivans, I went by the Ford dealer to check out the new Transit Connect. The van really appealed to me, with its emphasis on utility, its quirky charm, and the Euro pedigree. My wife, our designated minivan driver, wouldn’t give it the slightest consideration. She deemed it more suitable for a mobile pet cremation business than for Mommy duty. We wound up with a Nissan Quest, which I wrote about here and with which we have been very happy.
Last year I started a surfboard business. This meant that I was borrowing the Quest for long stretches at a time. It also meant that it was finally time for me to consider getting something appropriately capacious for myself, giving me a perfect excuse to add a Transit Connect to our fleet.
Ford Motor Company’s Transit Connect has seen the number of its direct rivals rapidly expand over the last two years. Not only must the Transit Connect fend off challenges from the Nissan NV200, now Chevrolet sells a version of the Nissan Van and FCA has imported the Fiat Doblo as the Ram ProMaster City.
Nevertheless, Ford still owns more than half the market for small commercial vans. Through the first four months of 2015, a period in which small commercial van volume in the United States has increased 58%, the Transit Connect’s market share stood at 55%. True, that’s down from 63% in the equivalent period one year ago. But a year ago, there was no such thing as a Chevrolet City Express or Ram ProMaster City. Moreover, Transit Connect volume has increased dramatically. Its 38% year-over-year improvement translates to 4,201 extra sales for Ford MoCo over just four months. (Read More…)
Fifty years ago, in a dispute over a German tariff on chicken imported from the United States, the U.S. government retaliated by slapping a 25% tax on imported trucks and vans, apparently to impact the then popular VW Bus. As sales of small trucks from Japan increased, the American automakers embraced the so-called Chicken Tax as a means of reducing competition. However, now that all three American based car companies sell vehicles that have been made outside the United States, the tariff has come back to haunt at least Ford. Automotive News reports that Ford is now appealing a ruling by U.S. Customs and Border Protection that the way the company imports the Transit Connect commercial vehicle makes it subject to the 25% tariff as opposed to the much smaller 2.5% duty charged on small passenger vans. (Read More…)
TTAC has learned that the Ford has delayed the new full-size Transit van until Model Year 2015. This leaves Ford without a next generation full-size van to compete against the updated Sprinter and the Fiat-based Ram Promaster.
A Turkish affiliate of Fiat had disclosed plans to import the Doblo as a Ram van, to compete with the Ford Transit Connect. Automotive News Europe reported that exports would begin in 2014 with expected volumes of around 20,000 units per year.
If you were an early adopter of Ford’s compact cargo hauler, news of the 2014 Transit Connect may upset you. Rather than letting the old baby-Transit languish in America like Ford did once upon a time with thee Focus, the new Euro van is coming to America later this year. With new engines, new transmissions and a corporate grille, should you put your purchase on hold?
Well, turns out I was totally off-base with my prediction of the Ford B-Max coming here. Turns out the new product coming here from Ford was one that exists already. Enter the Transit Connect Wagon. Congrats to commenter Tifighter who got it right.
The Detroit News is reporting that the company that electrifies Ford’s Transit Connect Electric vans, Azure Dynamics, AZD, has filed for bankruptcy and suspended the production of the small battery electric van. Azure Dynamics announced that 120 employees, including 50 at their Oak Park facility just outside Detroit where AZD performed the conversions, have been laid off. So far about 500 Transit EVs have been made since late 2010. There is no word if the company will be able to restart production.