With the recent introduction of the all-new Ford Transit into the South African and Sub-Sahara African markets, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) is continuing its plan to expand its commercial vehicle presence on the African continent.
The Ford Tourneo – a factory-built people mover – offers modern accommodation for either 12 or 18 passengers, depending on specification.
In addition to the Tourneo, the new two-tonne Transit range offers businesses an even more versatile version of the 2013 Van of the Year, Transit Custom. With a total load volume of 14,800 litres, carrying capacity of 2.2 tonnes, and the ability to accommodate up to five Europallets, the Transit panel van becomes a serious option for those who need to move larger items. New Transit is also available as a chassis cab model that can be fitted to accommodate customers’ exact needs.
“The introduction of Transit means that our commercial vehicle and fleet clients have more choice than ever before,” said Gavin Golightly, marketing manager at FMCSA. “Ford now offers modern, high-quality products with up-to-date technology that make sense for both new and established businesses.”
This new Transit lineup marks Ford’s third major commercial vehicle launch in Africa, under the Global ONE Ford plan. This strategy was originally set into motion in 2012 with the launch of the global Ranger, built at the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria. Ranger also uses the 2.2-litre and 3.2-litre engines sourced from the Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth, and the popular pick-up is also exported to 150 international markets.
In 2013 Ford launched the Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom, bringing the Transit nameplate back to South Africa for the first time since the 1970s. In March this year the Tourneo Custom was also recognised as the Best Large MPV in CAR Magazine’s Top 12 awards – testament to the smart technology, up-to-date design, and high quality shared by all Ford vehicles.
“Without a doubt, the commercial vehicle fleet we have on offer today is the best it’s ever been,” says Golightly. “We’re listening to the needs of business and fleet customers, as well as the man on the street, and expanding our range accordingly.”
These new models aren’t the last additions to the expanding local fleet. In 2015 Ford will introduce the Transit Connect, a compact panel van for inter-city deliveries and small businesses. Transit Connect will be joined by the Tourneo Connect MPV, which seats between five and seven passengers.
Available only as a long-wheelbase panel van, Transit Connect will be powered by a 1.6-litre turbo diesel engine producing 85kW, and mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
A short-wheelbase, five-seater Tourneo Connect will be available in two trim levels – Ambiente and Trend – with both powered by the three-time Engine of the Year award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, tuned to produce 74kW, and paired to a six-speed manual transmission.
In Titanium trim the Tourneo Connect is offered as long-wheelbase model, with room for seven passengers, and a choice of two engines. A 1.6-litre, 85kW turbo diesel engine with a six-speed manual transmission, or a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine producing 110kW, and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. More details on these compact MPVs and panel vans will be unveiled closer to launch, in 2015.
“The Transit family has been a leader in Europe for the last 25 years. We look forward to expanding our range to offer South African fleet managers and companies a full range of Transit vehicles – from big to small – that we believe will form the backbone of their business,” ends Golightly.