Ford to Replace Best Selling E-series With its Transit Van
Very rarely does an automaker decide to discontinue a vehicle line that’s dominated its segment for decades but the E-series to Transit transition for Ford is nothing new because the automaker has 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. The company now intends to sell the compact Transit Connect van in the taxi market, upgraded Tauruses and Explorers as police cars, and a “Town Car” version of the Lincoln MKT crossover to livery operators.
The E-series to Transit transition will not be a simple model-for-model substitution as the North American Transit van is to be launched in multiple body styles, with different roof heights and with multiple engine options without the plain, white E-Series Ford being discontinued at least initially. “We have a transition plan,” said Doug Scott, Ford Truck Group Marketing Manager, but he declined to specify how long Ford will continue to build the E-Series after the Transit goes on sale, saying only that selling both vehicles concurrently, “will give us enough time to prove out Transit and win [customers] over.”
The transition will mean a 25-percent improvement in fuel economy, without any sacrifice in durability or capability and by switching to a global platform, Ford expects to be able to offer more frequent product refreshes and cope with increasing regulatory expenses.