Automotive News has learned that Ford will stop marketing its small commercial van, better known as the Transit Connect. According to internal sources, Ford wanted to base the next generation of its urban van on the same architecture as its small SUVs (Escape, Bronco Sport, Maverick and Lincoln Corsair), but its plans have changed and the project is no longer part of the American giant’s plans.
In principle, this change of platform would have transferred the assembly of the commercial vehicle from the plant based in Spain to the one in Mexico where the brand’s compact SUVs are built. We can therefore speculate that this new generation of the vehicle would also have used the same powertrains as the vehicles mentioned.
The 2023 model year will be the last one for the model that hit the road in 2010 to meet the needs of commercial fleet owners, but also those of small businesses that don’t always need full-size vans.
It’s safe to assume that the strategy in the commercial vehicle segment will be to push the current generation of the Ford Transit, a vehicle that has been available in several sizes and even with a pure electric variant for just a few months. Let’s bet that other versions will be added to the lineup in the coming months, including a four-wheel-drive model for adventure and recreational van enthusiasts.
Ford’s decision, which has not been made official by the manufacturer at the time of writing, follows a trend in recent campaigns, with rival Nissan halting the marketing of its own pocket van, the NV200, which of course put a spanner in the works for Chevrolet, which was offering its own interpretation of the Nissan vehicle, under the name of City Express.
The commercial vehicle sector remains a priority for Ford, especially since Jim Farley took over the reins of the company, the main person who launched the Ford Pro division, aimed at contractors and fleet owners.
And with the arrival of new players like Rivian, for example, Ford will have to watch its back, as the fight is going to be fierce in the era of commercial fleet electrification.