Ford has confirmed it is to cease production of its car-derived city van the Fiesta Van at the end of April – a decision that What Van? reported was under consideration in October 2016.
A new generation of the Fiesta passenger car will go on sale in September but a commercial derivative of the vehicle will not be included in the product range.
Product manager Dave Petts told What Van? the compact cubed van the Transit Courier, which is currently built on the same platform as the Fiesta Van but is designed purely as an LCV, can fill the gap left by the Fiesta Van and offer operators a more comprehensive load-carrying solution.
The Courier provides a 660kg payload and 2.4m3 loadspace compared to the 508kg and 1.0 m3 of the Fiesta Van.
Nevertheless, to date the car-derived van has remained the more popular of the two in the UK with 4,076 sales last year next to 3,050 for the Courier. But Ford admitted the Fiesta Van sells less strongly elsewhere in Europe.
The Fiesta Van's peak sales year in the UK was 1997, when 4,595 were registered and since Ford introduced the LCV in 1996 it has shifted 64,601 units.
While Petts said the Courier won out as the “more practical” proposition he added the brand would be launching a sport van version to appeal to more style-conscious customers. This model will appear at the Commercial Vehicle Show from 25 to 27 April and will feature extras such as body-coloured bumpers, body stripes and red stitching in the cabin. It will be available with Ford’s 1.0-litre 100hp Ecoboost petrol engine or a 1.5-litre 95hp diesel.