Archive for January, 2008

Wall Street Journal: Ford to Launch European Transit Connect in US

January 31, 2008

The European Ford Transit Connect, a van produced by Ford in 2002, is set to run on US highways, reports from Wall Street Journal said. It is said to be Ford’s many moves to better control its global assets and overcome its current economic crisis.

Though the news was not confirmed by any Ford authorities yet, the move is expected to be announced at the Chicago Auto Show to be held next week.

In Europe, Ford Transit Connect’s features include a 1.8-liter common-rail turbo diesel. The van, being assembled in Turkey, is a vehicle smaller than the Dodge Sprinter.

However, in an interview with Autosavant.net, Ford’s President of the Americas Mark Fields said that it might take some more time before the European Transit Connect come to the US.

About 20,000 units of these vans, which garnered the “Van of the Year” award in 2004 given by Professional Van and Light Truck Magazine, are expected to add to Ford’s sales by the end of next year. Commercial customers such as caterers are its primary target buyers.

F-150 Redesigned

January 16, 2008

For years, the Ford F-150 has been the favorite of the majority of light truck buyers.  Built tough, the vehicle is used for either business or pleasure.  The increasing price of gasoline though has seen sales figure for the F-150 drop.  But the Dearborn automaker has made the F-150 a better truck to attract more consumers.

The task to redesign the F-150, dubbed as America’s truck, has been taken up by more than a thousand people from Ford engineers to designers, researchers, and others.  The resulting product is the 2009 Ford F-150, a more superior beast than the current F-150.

Mark Fields, president for The Americas at Ford had this to say:  “The Ford F-150 is an American icon.  Our team not only met those expectations, they exceeded them with the new 2009 F-150.  With Ford’s product-led transformation in full swing, the new F-150 could not have come at a better time – for Ford and for our customers.”

Matt O’Leary, chief engineer for the F-150 added:  “Before we started working on the new truck, we continued the conversation with people who use these trucks every day for work and play. We went to their ranches, their job sites and their homes, making sure we crafted features that would improve their ownership experiences and, really, their lives.”

O’Leary pointed out that they are aware of the need of consumers for fuel efficient vehicles.  Thus, they created the redesigned F-150 with that in mind.  “The new, improved chassis helps deliver additional payload and towing capacity as well as improved fuel economy, which we know is top of mind for customers,” he said.

With the improvements on the F-150, it is sure to once again set the bar higher for its competitors.