Report: Ford Transit Connect Confirmed Dead

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

On Tuesday, Ford confirmed that the Transit Connect would be removed from the North American market after the 2023 model year. Rumors had circulated that the small van would soon be relegated to Europe – with reputable outlets citing its regional demise back in the summer of 2022. However, this is the first time the company has commented on the matter publicly.

The vehicle currently migrates to North America by way of a factory located in Valencia, Spain. But the dwindling popularity of the small van segment has sealed its fate and presumably the fate of its would-be successor.

Last year, claims were made that Blue Oval would build a next-generation model for North America somewhere in Mexico. The vehicle would have utilized the same platform as the Maverick pickup and Bronco Sport crossover. Though that also seems to have been abandoned over concerns that it might not get sufficient attention from consumers.

Automotive News was the outlet that managed to get Ford to confirm the Transit Connect was on its last legs, saying it needed to be culled over “efforts to reduce global manufacturing cost and complexity, alongside decreased demand for the compact van segment.”

General Motors and Nissan dropped their small working vans (City Express/NV200) years ago for the same reason, with Ram likewise confirming the end of the ProMaster City in 2022. With Mercedes also having opted to discontinue the Metris for the 2023 model year, that’s basically the end of the entire segment.

The whole thing was a bit of an experiment from go. Ford initially brought the European-market Transit Connect to our shores in 2010. The assumption was that it would be a boon to small business owners that didn’t need a full-sized cargo van and would help provide an urban alternative to the gas-guzzling E-Series. But the little van’s annual sales rarely broke 40,000 units in the United States and its already tepid market dominance wouldn’t last for very long.

By 2015, the space had started getting crowded as other manufacturers imported models targeting a similar consumer base. Ford even began selling the standard Transit van here, which had been an icon in Europe for decades, and with good reason. But this was the pen that left the writing on the wall. With a more capable van now available, Ford’s pint-sized porter never had much hope of making it past the 2020s.

While production of the Transit Connect will persist in Spain, sales of the small van will remain isolated to Europe where it’ll be better appreciated.

[Image: VanderWolf Images/Shutterstock]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

More by Matt Posky

Join the conversation
2 of 24 comments
  • Robert Robert on Mar 30, 2023

    Good! Those things are hideous.

  • LostInTransit LostInTransit on May 16, 2023

    So, while most of you are still using these vans strictly as a utility van or the dreaded "camper conversion", we've went in a different direction. Upgrading parts on our 2020 Connect like Bilstein B6 struts/shocks, 40mm rear lowering springs, NGK spark plugs and more. With the successful installation of the rear lowering springs (going from 101mm down to 40mm) Our next goal is to locate the 28mm Hardrace sway bar (designed for the Ford KUGA) and test fit this sway bar on the van which uses the same engine cradle as the KUGA. oh did I mention we also installed a set of 19'' Axe CS Lite wheels with 245/40/R19 Nokian tires. It's not slammin, but damn close. Dead? No not by a long shot at least not dead in this family.

  • Ajla "Gee, wonder why car (as well as home) insurance rates are much higher in places like Florida..." Severe weather is on the list but even if a benevolent genie reverted the climate to circa 1724 I think FL would still have high cost. Our home insurance rates have increased 102% since 2021 and I don't think weather models account for that much of a change in that period. Florida's insurance assignment of benefit regulation meant that it had ~80% of the country's of the insurance lawsuits on ~12% of the nation's claims and litigated claims can be expensive to insurance companies. The state altered some regulations and is having some success on getting more companies back, even with the severe weather risks, through relatively bipartisan efforts. With car insurance just beyond the basic "Florida" stuff, the population increase of the past few years is overwhelming the roads. But, I think the biggest thing is we have very low mandated car insurance levels. Only $10K personal injury and $10K property damage. No injury liability needed. And 20% of the state has no insurance. So people that actually want insurance pay out the nose. Like I commented above my under/uninsured coverage alone is 2.5x my comprehensive & collision.
  • Juan Let's do an 1000 mile drive and see who gets there first.
  • Eliyahu CVT needed for MPG. Outback is indeed the legacy of, err, the Legacy.
  • Gayneu I can comment on these. My wife always thought the Minis were "cute" so I bought her a used 2005 (non-S, 5 speed) for one of her "special" birthdays. She loved it and I kinda did too. Somehow a hole developed in the transmission case and the fluid drained out, ruining the car (too expensive to fix). A local mechanic bought it for $800.We then bought a used 2015 S (6 speed) which we still have today (80k miles). Her sister just bought a used S as well (also manual). It has been a dependable car but BMW-priced maintenance and premium gas hurts for sure. I think the earlier generation (like in the article) were better looking with cleaner lines. The 2015 S rides too stiff for me (Chicago roads) but is a hoot on smooth ones. It does seem to shift weird - its hard to describe but it shifts differently from every other manual I have driven. No matter how hard I try, so won't let go of her Mini.
  • Crown Seems like they cut some cylinders too.A three cylinder...where are they planning on selling that??