Ford is to launch 100 Transit Centres across the UK to provide high-tech showrooms, an enhanced aftersales and service offering and extended opening hours to its commercial vehicle customers.

The manufacturer said the Transit Centres will enable the rollout of its Transit 24 programme, announced in February, which is aimed at minimising vehicle downtime and reducing whole-life costs for commercial vehicle operators. All 100 sites are scheduled to be upgraded by 2014. Each centre houses a dedicated CV sales team as well as Ford-trained technicians to handle service, maintenance and warranty work.

Ford said Transit 24 will include while-you-wait servicing and late-night appointments to suit customers’ working patterns. It also promises to respond within 20 minutes to fleet service requests made through the Epyx 1Link online booking provision.

Hartwell Ford in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, is the first Transit Centre to launch in the UK. The introduction of the network is aligned with the transformation of the manufacturer’s commercial vehicle range, with four new models – Transit Courier, Transit Connect, Transit Custom and Transit – arriving by 2014.

The first of these to arrive was the Transit Custom in December 2012 and Ford has now extended the range with a high- roof version, which offers a load volume of 8.3m3 , 20% more than the low-roof derivative, at an additional cost of £500, excluding VAT.

The Transit Custom line-up is priced from £17,495, excluding VAT.