Ford starts US production of Transit vans image

While in Europe the Transit has long been the ruling model in the van segment, in the US it was the E-Series commercial van doing the hard work.

Now, putting an end to a very profitable half century production run for the E-Series, Ford has brought its new global Transit to the US, with the first production batches coming out its Kansas City assembly plant gates.

“Producing our Built Ford Tough Transit lineup in Kansas City is a big deal for the local community,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Our investment in Kansas City Assembly Plant for Transit production is about delivering world-class commercial vans for a new generation of commercial customers – while building on our decades of leadership in the market and supporting new jobs throughout the region and across America.”

While the E-Series van, better known as the Econoline has commended until now around 46% of the US market for full-size commercial vans, in recent years Ford has decided to replace it with the Transit, making the long running nameplate its global commercial van.

At the plant in Claycomo, Missouri, where Ford also builds the F-150 pick-up trucks, recent investments of $1.1 billion and the addition of 2,000 workers prepared the assembly facility to make the US Transit – which officially began production yesterday.

The Transit was introduced in Europe in 1965, being the top-selling commercial van in Britain for 49 years and it’s also sold in 118 countries on six continents, with production in Turkey, China and now the USA.

Via Reuters