After a $1 billion investment and hiring 2,000 new workers at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri (part of which is set for the new 2015 Ford F-150), Ford is celebrating the beginning of production of the new Ford Transit. Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and Jimmy Settles, vice president of the United Auto Workers, were all in attendance to watch the first, newly designed full-size vans move through the production plant.
"Producing our Built Ford Tough Transit lineup in Kansas City is a big deal for the local community," Hinrichs said. "Our investment in [the] Kansas City Assembly Plant for Transit production is about delivering world-class commercial vans for a new generation of commercial customers – while building on our decades of leadership in the market and supporting new jobs throughout the region and across America."
Depending on which configuration is ordered, the Transit starts around $30,000 but can move up quickly when deciding between three engines, two wheelbases, cargo or wagon interior set-ups, roof heights and the length of the rear end. Maximum payload capacity is 4,650 pounds, and max towing is rated at 7,600 pounds.
This updated Transit was first introduced in Europe in 1965 and is currently sold in more than 115 markets on six continents. It is reported to offer more than 75 percent more cargo volume than the current-gen E-Series van with weight savings up to 600. In XL and XLT trims, as well as chassis cab and cutaway body styles, we're told this van will offer more choices for the commercial buyer than just about any other vehicle sold, excluding Super Duty.
The plant will begin with a single shift, eventually producing 300 Transits per day, with a second shift online in September, where they're predicting a maximum production of 800 vehicles per day. Preliminary expectations regarding engine choices is that the close to 50 percent of the vans will have the naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V-6, about 35 percent with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, and the remaining 15 percent ordered with the 3.2-liter I-5 Power Stroke.
The Transits should start appearing on dealer lots in the next month or two, and all configuration pricing is available at Ford's commercial truck website.
For the most recent specification sheet, click here.
Cars.com photos by Mark Williams