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Ford Has High Hopes for Transit Connect

American manufacturer Ford announced the market entry of the new Connect, amidst high hopes within the company that "small business owners are seeing positive economic indicators" – a crucial prerequisite of the hoped-for success of the van.

We see rising optimism among small business owners and strong demand for arriving Transit Connect vehicles among this group as reflections of an encouraging economic uptick,” Len Deluca, Ford Commercial Truck director said in a release.

"With cautious optimism, entrepreneurs continue to judiciously evaluate costs and seek viable, efficient solutions for their businesses. Swift sale of the initial allocation of Transit Connect vehicles arriving at Ford dealerships nationwide provides additional evidence that small business owners are anxious to invest in a useful tool to help them work smarter, more efficiently and more effectively," Ford added.

Built on a dedicated front-wheel drive commercial vehicle platform, the Connect is powered by a 2.0l Duratec DOHC engine, capable of achieving 22 mpg in city mode and 25 mpg highway. The engine develops 136 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 128 ft.-lb. of torque at 4,750 rpm and is mated to a four-speed automatic transaxle with overdrive.

It has a 135.3 cubic feet cargo volume, a load width of 48.1 inches between the wheel arches and 72.6 inches of load length.

Prices set by Ford for the Connect start at $21,475, including destination. Ford says that on a national basis, the Connect is "selling within eight days of arrival on dealer lots, significantly quicker than current industry norms."

The Connect is currently being manufactured in Turkey, but Ford intends on relocating some of the production to a US based facility, with the plants in Wayne, Mich., and Louisville, Ky. the most likely destinations.

This will happen sometimes in 2012, a year when Ford wants to present the battery electric-powered Transit Connect. For this version, Ford is working with Smith Electric Vehicles for the job, aiming at a top range for the EV of 100 miles.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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