AWARD: Transit Connect wins ‘Van of the Year’
Ford are celebrating a big award win after the all-new Transit Connect was named ‘International Van of the Year 2014’ at the COMTRANS commercial vehicle exhibition.
The victory – Ford’s record-equalling fifth – also means the manufacturer are the first to bag the award for two consecutive years.
A jury of 24 European specialist journalists awarded the Transit Connect 130 points from 163, putting it ahead of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (123 points).
The award for the all-new Transit Connect follows previous successes for the Transit (2001), Transit Connect (2003), Transit (2007) and Transit Custom (2013).
Barb Samardzich, Vice President of Product Development at Ford of Europe, said: “The all-new Transit Connect has moved the game on for compact vans – and we are really proud to win this significant award again.
“The new Transit Connect is just as tough and hard-working as all our commercial vehicle range, and comes with smart new looks and much lower fuel bills.”
The Ford Transit Connect offers van operators class-leading fuel economy, load carrying ability and durability, with the ECOnetic model delivering 70.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 105g/km.
Available in Van, Double-Cab-in-Van and Kombi bodystyles, the Transit Connect also offers maximum payloads of up to 1,000kg which matches the best in class figure.
Pieter Wieman, Chairman of the ‘International Van of the Year’ jury, said: “The all-new Transit Connect impressed the jury on a number of fronts, and above all by the fact Ford has succeeded in building a light van with a strong accent on economics – the vehicle is a good answer to the needs of small operators as well as big fleets to reduce the cost of transport of goods.
“The loading space offers several innovative aspects such as load-through hatch in the bulkhead, fold-up front passenger seat and a sliding side door in the long-wheelbase model which enables a Europallet to be loaded.
“Ford has also paid a lot of attention to durability and safety, subjecting the van to commercial vehicle testing and durability standards, and being first in its class to offer features like Active City Stop.”
Stephen Lesh, Chief Program Engineer of the Transit Connect, added: “Our teams across Europe are justifiably over the moon with this great news.
“The team has worked tirelessly to deliver the perfect vehicle for our hard-working customers, and this is a wonderful day for all those responsible for the Transit Connect across Europe.”
The all-new Transit Connect is now available to order for delivery in late 2013.