Ford’s renewed and expanded Transit commercial vehicle line-up achieved another milestone in 2015 as Ford became Europe’s No.1 top selling commercial vehicle brand – for the first time in 18 years.
European customers purchased more than 280,000 Ford commercial vehicles last year,* a 23 per cent increase over 2014, as the popular Transit van celebrated 50 years of service to businesses around the world.
The growth in European sales and rise from No.7 to No.1 most popular commercial vehicle brand was driven by the latest Transit family of four all-new models – Transit, Transit Custom, Transit Connect and Transit Courier. Together, these sold 233,000 vehicles in 2015, an increase of 46,000 compared to the previous year.
At the same time, the Ford Ranger overtook its rivals to become Europe’s No. 1 selling vehicle in the pickup segment, with total sales of 27,300 units – up by 27 per cent compared with 2014.
“Ford has invested heavily to develop new commercial vehicles that are tough, fuel efficient and offer the latest driver assistance technologies like Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Alert,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. “Ford now has the freshest commercial vehicle line-up in Europe, and this year we’re also introducing all-new powertrains for the Transit and Transit Custom, plus a bold new Ranger.”
Growth in online shopping and small businesses fuels demand
According to a recent study, commercial vans continue to make a significant and growing contribution to the European economy. Growth in usage driven by transport for online shopping and newly-created businesses in trades like painting, plumbing and plastering; and traditional van-based industries like building, maintenance/repair, utilities and transport.
A Ford-commissioned report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research shows that van-dependent businesses contributed a total of €584 billion to the major economies of France, Germany, and the U.K. in 2014 – an increase of 16 per cent compared with 2010, and an amount approaching the overall economy of Switzerland.
Ford commercial vehicles achieved a market share of 12.6 per cent in 2015 – a rise of 1.2 percentage points year-on-year – to replace Volkswagen as the top selling brand. In addition, last year marked 50 consecutive years of commercial vehicle leadership in the major U.K. market, while Ford also held a leading position in Denmark, Hungary, Ireland and Turkey.
Each of the four all-new Transit commercial vehicles achieved significant sales increases during 2015, led by the flagship 2-tonne Transit model, which was the fastest growing vehicle in its segment, achieving sales of 73,000 – a year-on-year increase of 20 per cent (including sales of the previous generation Transit in 2014). The 1-tonne Transit Custom model continued its strong growth in 2015, with sales up by 18 per cent over the previous year at 99,700 units.
The Transit Connect van was the fastest growing vehicle in its segment, with sales of 43,900 representing a 22 per cent year-on-year increase. The smallest model in the range, the all-new Transit Courier, generated sales of 16,500 units* in its first full year of production – plus a further 22,800 sold in Turkey – and is already challenging for leadership in its segment.
During 2015, Ford also expanded its network of specialist commercial vehicle dealers, with more than 750 Transit Centres providing European customers with a range of extended sales and support services designed to meet the needs of business users.
Since the first Transit vehicle left the production line in Langley, U.K., on August 9, 1965, more than 8 million of the larger Transit and Transit Custom models have been built, as the Transit has grown from a single model to an entire family of Ford Transit commercial vehicles.
Lined up end-to-end, 50 years of Transits would circle the globe, and on average a new Transit has been bought by a customer every 180 seconds during its lifetime.
Ford Back On Top As No. 1 Commercial Vehicle Brand In Europe In 2015; All-New Transit Line-Up Drives Demand