LA PREVIEW: Ford to unveil Transit Connect-based minivan
'People mover' Transit Connect will be US variation of Europe's Tourneo Connect
Ford will showcase a seven-passenger vehicle aimed at young families at the Los Angeles Show later this month.
The people-mover will feature sliding doors and will be based on the European Transit Connect commercial van. A five-seat Tourneo Connect version was shown to journalists at a Ford product event in Amsterdam last September. European buyers are already offered eight- and nine-seat Tourneo Custom models based on the larger, mid-size Transit Custom.
It added that its design - with a high roof and squared-off rear - will not trigger the ‘soccer mom stigma’ among under-30s who are beginning to start families.
Ford's head of global engineering Hau Thai-Tang said: “Many of them grew up in the back of a minivan. Historically, different cohort groups tend to reject what they're familiar with. We think that's another reason a product like this would be appealing to them."
Ford has been selling the Turkish-built Transit Connect in the US since 2009 as a commercial vehicle with about 35,000 in sales a year. The people-mover version will go on sale by the end of next year and be built in Valencia, Spain.
Minivan sales in the US peaked in 2000 at just over 1.3m and have since halved. Ford stopped production of its Freestar minivan in 2007, turning its focus to crossovers such as the Flex and the Edge and SUVs like the Escape and the Explorer.
Analysts say that minivan sales slowed due to a social view that it signals the driver has lost his or her individuality after becoming a parent, such distaste is acute among the younger generation known as the Millenials.
Ongoing sovereign debt crises across Europe are continuing to have a major impact on the Continent's automaking development, with 2007 production levels not expected to return until 2017, says analyst...
New vehicle sales in Vietnam jumped by 34% to 8,001 units in April, from a depressed 5,972 units in the same month of last year, according to data released by the Vietnam Automotive Manufacturers Asso...
- Auto business confidence hit but holding up
- Recalls redux - the week that was
- Brexit could lift UK auto production – Asian view
- New Astra Sports Tourer & future Opel/Vauxhalls
- Driving the new Q30, and Infiniti future models
- General Motors re-thinks India strategy - report
- Mixed reaction to Tesla's latest plans
- Ford rolls out MY2017 smartphone integration
- Tesla drops Mobileye in wake of Autopilot issue
- Heat challenging as technology ramps up - ZF TRW