The new Transit Connect compact van sold over 2,000 units in its first full month on the US market.

Ford said the new commercial vehicles are selling in under 10 days of arrival on dealer lots, significantly quicker than current industry norms.

The automaker is targeting small business operators and fleet customers for the fuel-efficient Turkish vans which are smaller than US-made models.

According to Jody Slucker, commercial business manager in Ford’s North Central region, the Chicago market leads the nation for Transit Connect fleet and business sales.

Early buyers represent a cross section of small businesses  including laundromats, caterers, door and lock companies, painters, electricians, restaurant suppliers, satellite dish installers, carpet installers and commercial carpet cleaners.

Ford said three recent surveys of small business owners showed entrepreneurs were “seeing positive marketplace signals”.

“We see rising optimism among small business owners and strong demand for arriving Transit Connect vehicles among this group as reflections of an encouraging economic uptick,” said Len Deluca, head of the automaker’s commercial truck sales and marketing.

Southern California has seen the highest number of sales to non-business users. Dealers report sales to a diverse range of hobbyists needing extra space to efficiently haul everything from show dogs to motor scooters.