How Ford plans to phase out the best-selling E-Series - Autoblog
By Jeff Sabatini
Posted Dec 8th 2011
It is not often that an automaker decides to dump a best-selling vehicle line, one that's dominated its segment for decades. But Ford's commercial vehicle team is doing it not once, but twice. Ford had been phasing out its Panther platform for a good five years before it finally ceased production of its Crown Victoria taxi, Police Interceptor and Lincoln Town Car livery offerings in September. Now the company is set to do similarly with its E-Series van, which will eventually be replaced by Ford's Transit, the venerable European equivalent. Ford divulged a few more details about its commercial vehicle plans at a press event in Dearborn yesterday...
...The company's transition from the E-Series to the Transit certainly seems simpler on the surface, as it's a model-for-model substitution, but that's not exactly the case. When it launches the North American Transit in 2013, Ford says the new van will be available in multiple body styles, with different roof heights and with multiple engine options, greatly expanding the choices available to its commercial customers. And those who just want to buy a plain, white E-Series will still be able to do so, as Ford will not be discontinuing the model, at least not initially...
...(Doug Scott, Ford Truck Group Marketing Manager) did say the plan to phase out the E-Series was not sales-dependent, as Ford clearly does not want the E-Series to linger on like the Panther cars did. But Ford will actually continue to build the E-Series in chassis and cutaway cab form at its Ohio Assembly facility in Avon Lake in suburban Cleveland. This plant will be devoted entirely to commercial chassis production, with Ford's Super Duty F-650 and F-750, and F-53 and F-59 models also being produced there. The F-53 is primarily a Class A motorhome chassis; the E-Series chassis is also popular for motorhomes...
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Multiple models are in Ford's van plan - AutoNews
December 7, 2011 - 4:40 pm ET
• There won't be a next-generation Econoline. Instead, the van will be replaced with the redesigned Transit. That's the van Ford markets today on several continents.
• "Transit" will replace the "Econoline" name, a nameplate that dates back to the '60s. So Ford will market the full-sized Transit and the compact Transit Connect -- call it the Transit Family.
• The global vehicle platform will be flexible, meaning Ford will be able to produce front- and rear-drive models, along with all-wheel drive. Ford did not say what configuration is planned for North America. But I think you can safety bet rwd is the choice.
• The van will be offered in what Ford called "multiple wheelbases."
• Fuel economy will be increased at least 25 percent. No powertrain information was provided, but a diesel is a possibility.
• Finally, three roof heights may be offered in the United States, one being tall enough for the driver to stand and walk in the cargo area.
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