Next-Generation Ford Transit Connect Taxi: ‘Taxi of the Future’ Arrives in Hong Kong
HONG KONG — Ford Motor Company today unveiled the all-new 2014 Transit Connect Taxi – purpose-built for the Hong Kong market – that provides an unmatched combination of performance, passenger comfort, safety, and flexibility.
“We are honored to offer taxi operators and taxi passengers in Hong Kong the comfort and capability of the all new Ford Transit Connect Taxi – our ‘taxi of the future,’” said Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company.
“By listening to the unique needs of Hong Kong customers and the Hong Kong community, we are able to deliver the ideal taxi solution for this exciting market.”
The Ford Transit Connect Taxi for Hong Kong benefits from the success the Transit Connect Taxi has seen globally. In the United States, where Ford holds about 60 per cent of the taxi market, Transit Connect Taxis successfully serve passengers in such premier and demanding taxi cities as New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago.
Alternative Fuel Leadership
The Transit Connect Taxi is equipped with a Ford-engineered, clean-burning liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) fuel system that is specifically designed to run on Hong Kong’s well-established LPG fueling infrastructure, providing dependability, low maintenance and long-range of travel.
“Ford’s leadership in alternative fuel engines and technologies provides customers with the power of choice and ensures we provide the right powertrain for the right market,” said David Westerman, regional manager, Asia Pacific Emerging Markets Group, Ford Motor Company.
Transit Connect was recently awarded the ‘International Van of the Year 2014’ in Europe, recognized for being as tough and hard-working as the rest of the Ford commercial vehicle range, and built with a strong accent on economics.
“Transit Connect was selected from Ford’s global portfolio of high-quality products to bring the advantages of alternative fuel, as well as an outstanding exterior and interior package, to the taxi industry. Simply put, the Ford Transit Connect Taxi is the best solution for Hong Kong,” added Westerman.
Taxi of the Future
Ford designed the 2014 Transit Connect Taxi with both the driver and their passengers in mind, creating a vehicle that combines stylish looks and enhanced features that help ensure safety, comfort and convenience. Transit Connect Taxi is also built to deliver the world-class quality and durability that Ford vehicles are known for around the world.
The Transit Connect Taxi’s LPG system fuels a 2.5-liter i-VCT, four-cylinder engine paired with an advanced, fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmission – providing drivers with quick response as well as durability and low-rpm cruising.
With 162PS of power and 221Nm of torque, the 2.5L i-VCT engine’s performance is ideal for hauling up the hills of Hong Kong, and the innovative Hill Start Assist feature ensures there is no roll-back on steep gradients, even when fully loaded with four passengers and their luggage.
The Ford Transit Connect Taxi uses a modern, durable twist-beam rear suspension that prioritizes passenger comfort and cargo carrying capability. Its expansive interior provides plenty of space for passenger headroom and legroom, as well as their luggage.
This includes 1,656-liters of cargo capacity behind the passenger’s second row, which is roughly three times that available in taxis currently operating in Hong Kong.
In addition to the legroom and cargo space, passenger conveniences include dual-sliding doors that make it easy to get in and out of the taxi – and ideal solution for Hong Kong’s crowded streets. Taxi operators will benefit from Transit Connect Taxi’s rigorous testing and durability evaluations, which included opening and closing its sliding doors through 250,000 door-slam cycles.
Importantly, with safety features such as a six airbag configuration, including driver, passenger, and front and rear passenger side curtain airbags, three-point safety belts for all seating positions, and Rear View Camera with Reverse Sensing System, the Transit Connect offers an unprecedented level of safety in the taxi segment.
“With more than 48 million visitors to Hong Kong each year, and seven million residents, so many of who use taxis every day, safety absolutely needs to be a top priority, and now Ford offers this new Transit Connect Taxi with the highest safety standard,” said Johnny Ng, managing director, IFE, Ford’s exclusive dealer partner in Hong Kong.
Ford in Hong Kong
Ford re-entered Hong Kong in April 2012, and has since launched six global Ford vehicles in the market, including the Ford S-Max and Galaxy MPVs, Transit Custom commercial van, all-new Ford Kuga compact SUV, and the Ford Focus ST and Ford Fiesta ST sports variants of these popular passenger cars.
“The company’s product led transformation has completely re-energized the Ford brand in Hong Kong, as we continue to build up to a full showroom of Ford vehicles that meet the needs and requirements of customer’s lives and lifestyles here in Hong Kong,” said Westerman.
Building off of its success, the company plans to launch an additional four vehicles in 2014, continuing to bring the best of its global line-up of vehicles to market.
“With the strength of our One Ford plan and global network, we are in the best position we have ever been for great growth opportunities in Hong Kong – and we are already seeing great results,” Westerman stated. “With Hong Kong’s taxi market at approximately 18,000 units, it’s an important part of Ford’s continued growth plans for the market.”
Ford will begin taking orders for the Transit Connect Taxi in the first quarter, with production starting soon thereafter in Valencia, Spain.