Ford Motor Co., on Wednesday said it will replace the popular Econoline E-series van with the upcoming Transit full-size van. The E-Series has owned the big commercial van segment for more than three decades.
With increased competition from the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and the Nissan NV, it came as a surprise to no one when Ford announced that it’d be phasing out the venerable E-Series in favor of the Transit.
“Sharing the same name and platform as the Transit that’s sold in Europe, Asia and other markets, we’re putting Transit through grueling durability and real world testing to make sure it will live up the demands of our customers and E-Series’ workhorse reputation”, the company said.
The new American Transit will be made in the Kansas City plant where Ford is investing more than $1 billion; add a stamping plant and add a second shift of F-Series production.
For the moment, Ford’s job is to get the Transit, popular in Europe, ready for America. It is being put through three months of intense durability testing including climbing the curbs on the specialized test road at the proving grounds.
USA Today reports that Transit will climb the curbs thousands of times on top of navigating the bumpy and pothole-ridden road surface vehicles are sometimes required to endure.
“The new Transit will be the smartest, most fuel-efficient way to move cargo or people,” said Tim Stoehr, Ford Commercial Truck Marketing manager.
The Transit van is the best-selling van in Europe. Ford has sold more than 6 million Transits across five continents. Transit is currently offered to global customers in a variety of cargo, passenger and chassis cab configurations with a choice of three efficient diesels: the 2.2-liter Duratorq TDCi I-4, 2.4-liter Duratorq TDCi I-4 and 3.2-liter Duratorq TDCi I-5.