Ford Motor Company will replace most, but not all, of its venerable E-Series van with the new Transit.
The van, popular among many commercial fleets, will step aside to make room for a vehicle that has been well received in markets outside the United States. Ford has sold eight million E-Series. Six million Transits have been sold in five continents since Ford introduced the vehicle in 1965, Ford's Rob Stevens said at a press conference Monday at The Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.
The Transit, a larger version of the Transit Connect that Ford has been selling in the U S, will be built in North America beginning in 2013. Weighing 300 pounds less than an E-Series van, the Transit will be powered by the company's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 gasoline engine. Ford says the result will be a van that achieves a 25 percent improvement in fuel economy compared with similar E-Series vans.
Not all of the E-Series will be discontinued. Commercial cutaways and stripped chassis will continue to be produced.
To get ready for production in the US, Ford is investing $1.1 billion in its Kansas City Assembly Plant. The Transit will be built alongside the F-150.