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Ford Transit to Replace Econoline in Near Future

 
Edward A. Sanchez
Guru
Posts: 1908
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 06/11/08 04:57 PM

According to the Detroit News, Ford is planning on replacing the Econoline with a version of its Transit cargo/passenger van sold in Europe, much like Dodge replaced the Ram Van with the Euro-style Sprinter. What do you guys think of this?  

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MatMobile
User
Posts: 116
Joined: 09/07
Posted: 06/13/08 09:46 AM

This new van will definately get the attention of vanners!

Ford Transit Sportvan 1

Trans6a

Already Ford, with just a couple of pictures, has gotten us interested. The design is really different from "traditionnal vans" but it does keep the boxy look and keeps the sliding doors.

Only problem is, in my opinion, most customizers look for used vehicles to reduce their cost and to remove that fear of "cutting into" the vehicule.

I'm not a Ford guy, but I still like it. Especially if the motor is economical. (How times have changed...)  
----- Mathieu -----
MatMobile
"Electric Avenue", my '79 Ford.

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Edward A. Sanchez
Guru
Posts: 1908
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 06/13/08 10:24 AM

Well, from what I've heard, it's really similar to the Sprinter. It's tall & narrow, and powered by a turbodiesel. I was actually pleasantly surprised when I drove the Sprinter, and other than the height (you can't park it in parking garages) and somewhat of a squeaky, rattly interior, thought it was great. Looks like that's probably the direction things are going.  

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MatMobile
User
Posts: 116
Joined: 09/07
Posted: 06/26/08 09:20 PM

Yeah... But take a look at that first picture I posted. It is definately not as high as the Sprinter. It actually has a good "workable" shape. As for the Sprinter, kind of hard to make it look sporty with that roof!  
----- Mathieu -----
MatMobile
"Electric Avenue", my '79 Ford.

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Showvans1
User
Posts: 143
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 06/27/08 08:19 AM

This particular Transit Mat posted looks great. The first thing to go would be the goofy lights but vanners could work with it in this configuration. Of course it would come in various forms with raised roofs, extended bodies like the Sprinters.  
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Member Van Azur, ACVQ, OFV, National Truck-In Board support staff and occasional contributor to this fine magazine going back to 1982.

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Edward A. Sanchez
Guru
Posts: 1908
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 06/27/08 12:07 PM

Yeah, looks like they're going head-to-head with the Sprinter, pretty much. Looks like GM might be the lone hold-out in the "traditional" full-size van market. But even GM has some Vauxhall/Opel Vans they could bring over from Europe. Looks like the trend for full-sizers is the Euro-style vans. How do you guys feel about that?  

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MatMobile
User
Posts: 116
Joined: 09/07
Posted: 09/06/08 09:31 PM

After my honey-moon in France, I gotta say a guy can really get used to that style of vehicle. Especially considering the price of gas... Nowadays, if you're serious about vanning, you have to think long distance. Highly efficient motors (with power that is) and highway gears come right after the cool factor!

If it's got a sliding door, a bed in the back and a beer fridge. I'm a happy vanner!  
----- Mathieu -----
MatMobile
"Electric Avenue", my '79 Ford.

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Edward A. Sanchez
Guru
Posts: 1908
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 09/08/08 10:38 AM

I'll tell you one thing about power. When I saw the Sprinter only had 154 hp on paper, I thought, "Man, this thing's going to be a total dog."

I was actually really surprised by the amount of power it had. Granted, it wasn't a Top Fuel dragster, but it got out of its own way no problem, and cruised on the freeway without a sweat.  

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JOE90
New User
Posts: 1
Joined: 12/08
Posted: 12/06/08 04:52 AM

Check this out a 2005 transit van going round the german nurbergring, listen to where she says 115 mph
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=snKml_XtlOIhttp://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=snKml_XtlOI
If the above link didn't work visit youtube and type in top gear transit nurburgring.

Bryan  

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Superbeast
User
Posts: 199
Joined: 08/07
Posted: 03/10/09 03:01 AM

I believe the Transit will be available in multiple sizes, but I think for the American auto worker, Ford should Keep the standard Full size van as well.  
Superbeast

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Edward A. Sanchez
Guru
Posts: 1908
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 03/10/09 02:33 PM

There's a good chance they could build the Transit in the U.S. From what I heard, a lot of the future products coming from Ford may have been designed in Europe or Asia, but will be built in the States. As far as I know, the 2011 Focus (I know, not a van) will be built in Michigan, just like the current model, even though it's based on the Euro-model.  

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sasktrini
New User
Posts: 15
Joined: 03/09
Posted: 03/10/09 08:01 PM

You know E, Europeans are big on American Iron.  Our vehicles get shipped over there all the time!  I'm not crazy about the look of Sprinters or Transits... I guess you guys will have to help me keep my vintage vans running forever! lol  
.
sasktrini, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

'64 Ford Econoline - 170 FalconSix, 3-on-the-tree
'85 Chevy G20 - 350 TargetMaster, 3sp auto
'68 Fargo A-100 - 225 SlantSix, 727 3spd auto w/ dash shifter

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Edward A. Sanchez
Guru
Posts: 1908
Joined: 07/06
Posted: 03/11/09 10:37 AM

Icon Quotesasktrini:
You know E, Europeans are big on American Iron.  Our vehicles get shipped over there all the time!  I'm not crazy about the look of Sprinters or Transits... I guess you guys will have to help me keep my vintage vans running forever! lol

Strangely enough, it seems particularly in Scandinavia, big American iron is popular. I've seen a lot of built full-size pickups from Norway, Sweden and Finland. I guess it's a reaction to the socialist nanny-state that wants everyone to drive little crackerboxes.  Smile  

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Sungod
New User
Posts: 1
Joined: 05/10
Posted: 05/21/10 07:16 AM

Well, so much for being "Built Ford Tough."  These Transits don't even look it.  This "F--the public" switch also came up earlier (2003) to be implemented in 2007.  However, Ford reviewed Econoline sales figures and decided against losing 80% of the full size van market.  And, now, here we go again.  No more heavy steel chrome bumpers?  No huge swooping front windshield that offers unsurpassed visibility, like in a bus?  The fact is, Econolines are very low maintenance.  With nearly 100k miles I have only spent on oil changes every 10k to 15k miles--whenever I get the mood--and ball joints one time, and that's it.  My 2006 Econoline E-150 cargo still starts and runs like new.  It is my 5th E-150.  Will it be my last?

The Euro platform does not hold up.  I have spoken with TV crews who must have the huge heavy telescoping 20-30-ft antennas and they hate the Sprinters.  The mercedes benz diesels last 55k miles before they are over.  They can't take the weight or the use that van owners demand of their vehicles.   I have spoken with drivers of Sprinter passenger vans who have traveled several states and they speak of the instability on the road, the tendency to wobble from side to side, and forget it if you get caught between tractor-trailer semi rigs.

But it's all about the greed of money.  Ford thinks they can make more out of the sucker public who will try anything once, especially if they have no choice.  Regarding the Ford Transit, owners in the UK have been very displeased and have complained about "excessive tire wear, having dampers and power steering components replaced, and steering rack, wheel bearing and exhaust gas recirculation valve problems [www.whatvan.co.uk "Transit SportVan owners in Ford HQ Protest"], with the caveat, "Don't forget that when your van's off the road you're not earning."  

Make no mistake about it, if FOMOCO does the switch, there will be a mass exodus to GM and the Savana and Express.  How many more out there will be dreaming of a new 1500?  No huge swooping windshield like on the Econoline, but at least their full size van will be roadworthy.  

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