About time! Transits to hit SA
FORDS IN TRANSIT: The Transit Custom is set to offer driver appeal and functionality in the one-tonne commercial vehicle market while the Tourneo Custom could give the Mercedes-Benz Vito pause.
Ford is about to enter the South African large minibus and panel-van segment with its new Transit (Wheels24 brought you the exclusive announcement) and Tourneo Custom - 50 years after the rest of the world!
The Transit van, first launched in 1965, has become a people-mover icon as well as a best-seller in its panel-van segment with six-million units sold globally in countless engine and body combinations.
The new range will arrive early in 2013.
Asked why it had taken Ford SA so many decades to introduce the Transit to this country, a spokesman said: "We have had a huge amount of interest from the South African market to introduce the Transit to South Africa so we decided to time introduction with the launch of the all-new Transit - which means we will get it in 2013."
The SA units will have Ford’s 2.2 Duratorq TDCi diesel engine and be offered as long and short wheelbase variants.
The new Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom also boast a modern, driver-focused cockpit which combines stylish looks with smart stowage solutions and a wide range of driver assistance technologies.
With its practicality the Transit Custom will appeal to a tradesmen and small-business owners.
The Tourneo Custom, Ford says, has exceptional people-carrying abilities, with seating for up to eight. Its high-opening tail door and flexible seating configuration allow one to fold or stow the second and third-row seats in more than 30 different ways, "resulting in unbeatable space for passengers and their belongings".
The new Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom models for South Africa will be built at the Ford Otosan plant in Kocaeli, Turkey.
Moving people around isn't all Ford's new models are good for, as race driver Sebine Schmitz pushes a Ford Transit around Germany's Nurburgring.
Watch the video below: Schmitz answers Top Gear's challenge to race a van around the 'Ring.