Transit Connect to cross the Atlantic

Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2008

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.

 

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.

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.


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