Ford axes Econoline van series

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Ford Transit

Ford is phasing out the Econoline van in favor of the Transit (pictured) series sold overseas. Photo Credit: Graham Richardson/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY

Ford, in its quest to offer the same cars everywhere, has slated the Econoline van series for extinction. Also called the E Series, the full-size van will be phased out in lieu of Ford’s Transit vans offered globally.

Stand by your van

Ford Motor Company has been on a quest over the past few years to sell the same vehicles in every country it has a presence in, a strategy it refers to as “Global Ford.” The idea isn’t bad; it makes business sense and it means that economical and fun models previously offered only in Asia and Europe will become available in America.

The downside is that some models are getting phased out here. Mustang enthusiasts can rest assured that the Mustang won’t leave, but one of the most recent casualties is the Econoline van series. According to USA Today, the line of full-size vans, also called the E-Series, is going to be phased out in lieu of the Transit series of vans that are sold internationally, not to be confused with the Transit Connect. Production of the E-Series is going to wind down as the Transit, according to Bloomberg, is going to begin production in 2013.

Not such a bad trade

Similar to Mercedes Sprinter vans, the Transit has a tall roof and a variety of configurable options.
The Transit line has three different choices of wheelbase, according to the Ford Australia website, with short, medium and long wheelbase versions to choose from. The shortest version is 4.863 meters (almost 16 feet) in length and the longest version is 6.4 meters (about 21 feet) in length. Different roof heights and numerous seating arrangements are also available.

The Transit also, according to USA Today, gains a further 25 percent in fuel efficiency over the Econoline series.
The van is available in front, rear and all-wheel-drive, but it’s unknown thus far what the transmission options will be. Ford hasn’t announced which engines it will get, but the U.K. model has a 2.2-liter and Australian model has a 2.2 and a 2.4-liter diesel. The 2.2-liter “Duratorq” diesel also gets tuned for greater power output in larger models. More than 6 million of them have been sold.

Ranger line exterminated

Another popular Ford with businesses has been the Ford Ranger pickup, the last of which will roll off the assembly line by the end of the year at the Ford plant in St. Paul, Minn., according to USA Today. The last Ranger was ordered by Orkin, the national pest control chain that has been a constant customer for the Ranger, putting thousands of them to use ferrying termite terminators nationwide.

Sources

USA Today

Bloomberg

Ford UK

Ford Australia

USA Today

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