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Oakville, Ontario-based Ford Canada has won an 1,175-unit order for Turkish-built Transit Connect vans to replace Canada Post’s ageing national fleet of light vehicles.

“Environmental impact, employee health and safety requirements, performance, capacity and total lifecycle costs (purchase, fuel consumption and maintenance) were among the key requirements for Canada Post,” Ford said in a statement.

“The Transit Connect is used by a number of post offices around the world and is well-suited for Canadian roads and winters,” the automaker added.

The North American market model has a two-litre I4 engine and automatic transmission compared with the small I4 turbodiesels and manual transmissions most popular here in Europe.

The North American Connect was updated for the 2010 model year and Ford has been conducting promotional roadshows with new line across the US. The small van was named the 2010 North American Truck of the Year at the Detroit motor show last January and has also won many international awards.

David Mondragon, president and CEO, Ford of Canada, said: “The versatility of the vehicle will allow employees to work more efficiently, and the fuel economy delivered by the Transit Connect will help bring Canada Post one step closer to achieving important environmental goals.”

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“We are pleased with the outcome and look forward to the delivery of our first vehicles as we begin to replace many of our aging light vehicles, with vehicles that are much more efficient and environmentally-friendly,” said Bill Michalopulos, general manager, sourcing, at Canada Post. “It will also help our efforts to modernise our operations as we introduce motorisation to our delivery routes.”