Ford Transit Connect becoming today's hippie van
Ford Motor. Co. launched its Transit Connect work van in mid 2009 as a practical and economical hauler for small businesses – a vehicle for tradesmen like plumbers and electricians, for caterers and for local delivery services like florists and dry cleaners. But anyone with a creative eye could see that the Transit Connect work truck held wider promise and possibility. The European-made small truck is a highly functional, customizable, flexible-use vehicle that nomadicly inclined consumers can adopt and adapt for an endless variety of personal uses.
Accordingly, mobile free-spirits are converting the Transit Connect into gaudy, gorgeous hippie vans for our era. To support them, independent aftermarket vehicle-equipment suppliers are bringing out gear for custom conversions that fit the specific needs of ski bums, kayakers, cyclists, campers and other adventure addicts.
Ford formally acknowledged the Transit's unlimited consumer potential this month when it announced the XLT Premium Wagon version. The press release announcing the upgraded model noted that a more comfortable, passenger-friendly Transit Connect is “something customers have been asking for since the small, fuel-efficient van went on sale in the United States.”
The announcement quoted Rob Stevens, Ford's chief nameplate engineer for commercial vehicles: “Since Transit Connect arrived here as the ‘ultimate tool’ for small business proprietors, we’ve heard requests from potential personal-use customers. Buyers looking for a taller wagon with seating for five passengers and generous cargo space have shown significant interest in Transit Connect.”