Transit Connect to cross the Atlantic
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The US Connect will not be sold with diesel power. It will be fitted with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine married to an automatic gearbox.
In a surprise move, Ford is to start selling Transit Connect in the USA from mid-2009 onwards. It's the first attempt by anybody to market a European light commercial of this size in pick-up-loving North America and a major leap of faith by the Big Blue Oval.
Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of global product development, believes that there is a significant, untapped, American market for the vehicle. He points to the number of consumers buying goods over the internet and to the need for those goods — often arriving as small packages — to be delivered.
“Transit Connect is ideally suited to meet that requirement because of its compact size and fuel-efficient powertrain,” he says.
Even with a petrol engine, Connect will be a lot more frugal than the gas-guzzling V8s the Yanks love; and American firms are becoming a lot more fuel cost conscious.
Mercedes has been selling the Sprinter in the USA under various brand names, and with some success.