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CV SHOW: Ford begin ’50 years of Transit’ celebrations

By Kyle Linsay
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 11:31

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Nearly 50

Ford’s Transit van celebrates its 50th anniversary in August with almost 8 million Transit and Transit Custom models built since 1965

Ford’s popular Transit van celebrates its 50th anniversary in August 2015, marking five decades of loyal service to businesses around the world and the celebrations have already began at the CV Show in Birmingham.

Since the first vehicle left the production line in Langley, on August 9, 1965, almost 8 million Transit and Transit Custom models have been built.

Lined up end-to-end, 50 years of Transits would circle the globe, and on average a new Transit has been bought every 180 seconds during its lifetime.

“The Ford Transit has touched the lives of most of us,” said Mark Ovenden, chairman and managing director, Ford of Britain. “From house moves to moving people, the Ford Transit is an essential tool to get the job done. It has become a mobile office or workshop for some – and loved by us all.”

Launched in the same year that the first person walked in space, the Transit made an immediate impact, providing practical support to the booming economy. The Transit evolved with a vast range of bodystyles and variants: from the parcel van, through tipper trucks and campers, to outrageous one-offs, including the Cosworth V8-powered Supervans.

Growing popularity saw production of the Transit accelerate, and after passing the first million milestone in 1976, it rapidly passed the next ones in 1985, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2013. Add demand for the smaller Transit Connect – with more than 1 million sold – and the compact all-new Transit Courier, and total Transit production is scheduled to top 9 million during 2015.

The success of the Transit has seen production expand beyond Europe, including facilities in Nanchang, China and in 2014 the Transit entered North America for the first time, with the all-new two-tonne Transit being built in Kansas City, Mo. This has helped extend the all-new Transit to 118 markets across six continents.

“Ford’s Transit family continues to lead the way in innovation,” Ovenden said. “With 50 years of van sales leadership in the UK under its belt, the new four-van Transit range is looking forward to its next half century.”

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