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Old 05-25-2010, 11:59 PM   #1
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Future of Full Size ford Vans

I got to meet a fellow forum member a few weeks ago when he showed me his awesome '08 rig. He mentioned he'd been to SMB West recently and learned the full size vans' future is in doubt. Ford has already discontinued the diesel, and the full size vans may be next. Anyone have anything to add?

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Old 05-26-2010, 12:46 AM   #2
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Re: Future of Full Size ford Vans

I don't think its going anywhere. Sales are up 26% compared to this time last year and it has 60% of the full-size van market.

Through the end of April, the E-series is Ford's 5th best selling vehicle, behind the F-series, Escape, Fusion, and Focus. It outsells the Flex 3-to-1 and the Transit Connect 6-to-1.

The lack of the diesel has more to do with Navistar's shortcoming more than anything. Sure, the 6.7L won't fit but hopefully we'll see the 4.6L (version of the 6.7L) come out in the E-series.
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:59 AM   #3
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Re: Future of Full Size ford Vans

They might bring over the european Transit van... they already brought in the connect.
Hope not as it will be the end of the offroad ability of the van.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:34 PM   #4
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Re: Future of Full Size ford Vans

If you stop and think about it for a second, the only reason why we have 4wd vans here is because after-market companies stepped in and filled the gap. It has nothing to do with Ford, they never made off-road capable, full size vans. Quigley etc are all big boys. If the vans change I'm sure someone will step in to modify them.

Anyway, in the UK you used to be able to get the big Transit vans with FWD, RWD or 4WD. Not sure if this is still the case though.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:44 PM   #5
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Re: Future of Full Size ford Vans

What Zeta is talking about is what I told him after a conversation with Alan Feld. Apparently, Ford is stopping production of the van altogether in a couple of years. To the best of my knowledge, the van platform will be replaced by two other body styles: The small sedan-delivery sort of thing already in service here, and a Sprinter-like vehicle that will also come from a vehicle that is already in service in Europe.
I believe this information to be true, but maybe if someone is going to SMB West, they might confirm this with Alan.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:22 PM   #6
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Re: Future of Full Size ford Vans

Here's a question. What do you think it will do to the value of used Ford vans if they stop making them?
Will the remaining vans go up in price or be worth less if it's a now discontinued model?

The reason I ask is my current plan is to use this van for maybe 5 years then buy a newer used model and move everything over to that van. One reason I went with the Ford since most everything's the same from year to year. If the prices for used vans drops precipitously I might not have to wait so long.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:47 PM   #7
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Re: Future of Full Size ford Vans

thats why im looking at the Nissan NV2500 series....they are based on the titan and should be available in 4wd from the factory...
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Old 05-27-2010, 01:47 AM   #8
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Re: Future of Full Size ford Vans

Quote:
Originally Posted by axel
If you stop and think about it for a second, the only reason why we have 4wd vans here is because after-market companies stepped in and filled the gap. It has nothing to do with Ford, they never made off-road capable, full size vans. Quigley etc are all big boys. If the vans change I'm sure someone will step in to modify them.

Anyway, in the UK you used to be able to get the big Transit vans with FWD, RWD or 4WD. Not sure if this is still the case though.
I detail my answer a little:
The off-road capable van is helped that there is a frame on the van and it is very similar to the 4x4 pick-up.
The european transit and sprinter do not have a frame to support weight and stress, it's the body that does that.
You can get some from factory in 4x4 with low body clearance, if you want high clearance, it cost way more (at least in europe) to have it done and still no frame.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:38 AM   #9
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Re: Future of Full Size ford Vans

Andrew, unfortunately passenger vehicles with a separate chassis are going to go the way of the solid rubber tyre and the leather clutch. They are expensive to make, not as safe as unit-body cars/vans, either for the occupants or the things they hit and are likely to disappear completely from manufacturing in the next decade. The few European engineers I have met are always amused and horrified at how we still build trucks and vans in the USA.

I would also say that we should look on the bright side: typically European and Japanese vans are very efficient in terms of interior space, have relatively short wheelbases for maneuverability, are safer, much more fuel efficient and handle extremely well. (After looking at pictures of the Nissan NV2500 I would have to exclude that from the above comment. To me it looks like a WW I ambulance, purely a styling exercise for the US market with little thought given to practicality.) I have driven Iveco (Fiat) turbodiesel vans, Japanese vans and the new VW T5 TD vans in Europe and in my estimation they are far superior to anything we have available here.

My guess, hardly a revelation, is that fuel costs are likely to continue to rise and we will see more and more relatively efficient vehicles brought in to the US. Since we don't make them here but they are readily available from multiple European and Asian car manufacturers we'll just import them. On this note, the Transit Connect is only available with diesel engines in Europe, both rated at more than 40 mpg in town. Why we got a gas engine with a city rating of 20 mpg in an otherwise excellent vehicle only god and Ford know.

As for the future of the vans we have know, the history of the VW Vanagon Syncro might be useful to look at as an example both of where 'our' vans might go in the future if they disappear from the Ford roster and also of how some small group of enthusiasts will step in to make all sorts of modification and improvements routine. Syncros are unit body vans, have not been sold here since 1991 and one can get all kinds of suspension mods. as well as complete engine swops etc. The difference for us is that there are millions of Ford vans on the road and in the junk yards, as well as all the bits needed to modify/improve them as much as you like.

Bottom line: as long as you don't need to drive the newest, latest and greatest van and you can afford to pay the $10 or more for a gallon of gas for your V8, V10 or 7 liter diesel we'll be driving these things until the internal combustion engine itself is outlawed, on and off road.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:46 AM   #10
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Re: Future of Full Size ford Vans

Also found this on Wikipedia which makes all this debate a bit clearer, assuming we can trust Wikipedia... Answers the question pretty clearly for once.

Quote:

"The Ford Transit made its debut in the American continent in Mexico on September 10, 2007 and over nine different models are offered. This is the only country in the American continent in which it is currently on sale.
Ford has stated that the fourth generation Transit platform will be global, also acting as a replacement for the long running E-Series/Econoline range in North America. It is expected to be released by 2012. In the interim, Ford introduced the smaller, mechanically unrelated Transit Connect to the U.S. market for the 2010 model year.
Due to its four cylinder diesel engines, manual transmission, lower weight and more aerodynamic design, the Transit is considerably more fuel efficient than the E-Series, which is a mainstay with a V8 and automatic transmission. Currently the E-Series competes domestically with the Dodge Sprinter range, which is a badge engineered Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - one of the Transit's main rivals in Europe."
[edit][/color]

And yes, they are still available with either FWD, RWD or 4WD.
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