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Ford vans aim to fill a niche market

Ford is arming its van dealers with limited editions designed to appeal to owner-driver businesspeople seeking more individuality and personality from their work vehicles.

The carmaker last week unveiled Transit Sportvan, the second model to bear the name after Fiesta Sportvan entered the market late last year.

And it has also revealed a concept of Transit Connect Sportvan, which is expected to become production reality later this year.

All Sportvan editions come with sporty bodystyling, alloy wheels, unique paintwork, leather or sports interior and powerful turbodiesel engines.

Steve Kimber, Ford’s commercial vehicles director, says the Sportvan range is not just a marketing ploy. He believes there is a niche market for such vehicles among business owner-drivers and small operators. Only 500 Transit Sportvans will be produced.

“Twenty years ago, when customers bought a van it was a base van,” he says. “But the CV market has evolved just like the car market and some customers want to stand out from the crowd.

“For me, the commercial vehicle business is about building up different solutions for our customers. With Fiesta Sportvan, our volume aspiration is modest but dealers can’t get enough of them.”

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