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Posts Tagged ‘Ford minivan’

Ford Grows New Tourneo Van Family

U.S. will see it as the Transit Connect Wagon.

by on Mar.05, 2013

Ford's new Tourneo Courier minivan.

Ford has been completely updating its people-mover family – what Americans prefer to call minivans – in recent months, and the latest version of the Tourneo Courier is making its debut at this week’s Geneva Motor Show.

Why does that matter to American motorists? Because it will land in the States bearing the Transit Connect Wagon badge.

“Tourneo stands for smart, do-anything vehicles that are designed for people who live life to the fullest,” boasted Barb Samardzich, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “However big your personal mission, we have a Tourneo people-mover that will help you squeeze the most out of every moment – whether that’s cycling with friends or a day with the kids.”

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Completing the updated Tourneo family and set for a European launch in the mid-2014 model-year, the maker contends the Courier will have a number of advantages over key competitors, including class-leading space, practicality, fuel economy and safety features.

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Spy Shots: Ford Galaxy Van

Coming to America?

by on Jan.02, 2013

Car Spy Jim Dunne nabbed this image of a Ford Galaxy minivan testing in Detroit.

Ford is developing a new design and probably engine installation for the next version of its European Galaxy van – or so one would conclude from these shots of a prototype under test at Ford’s home base in Dearborn.

The unanswered question is whether a U.S. version of the Galaxy might be in the works.  The maker has been out of the American minivan market since abandoning the largely unnoticed Ford Freestar in 2007. It has since tried to find alternative paths to potential minivan buyers with “people-movers” like the big Ford Flex, the smaller C-Max and an assortment of crossovers.

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One look tells the story of the prototype Galaxy’s front end. Despite the heavy camo, it carries an all-new appearance, with a strong block-shape grille opening in place of the current oval. The higher hood line may have two purposes – house a taller, turbocharged (or V6 ?) engine, and change the Galaxy’s appearance to that of a small SUV from the minivan shape it now displays. Those front-hinged rear doors clearly identify – to American shoppers – this vehicle as a small SUV.

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Ford Back in the Minivan Game with New Transit Connect Wagon

But new 7-seater is 1st in segment to top 30 mpg.

by on Nov.13, 2012

Ford will offer a minivan of the updated Transit Connect in 5- and 7-passenger configurations.

Ford has had a troubled history when it comes to minivans – first rejecting the design that instead became Chrysler’s industry game-changing Voyager and Caravan models, then fielding a fleet of me-too designs that never caught on with consumers.

Now, after being out of the segment for a half-decade Ford is making its return with a 7-passenger version of its European van dubbed the Transit Connect Wagon. It will provide a more traditional, van-like alternative to Ford’s bigger “people-mover,” the Flex.

“Transit Connect Wagon gives young families and people on the go the fun-to-drive and efficient vehicle they’ve been looking for,” said Mark Fields, recently named Ford’s new Chief Operating Officer and the outgoing Ford President of the Americas. “It’s an all-new, smaller seven-seater that has better mileage than larger vans and creates a segment of its own. Customers also will love the unique combination of style, adaptability and affordability this wagon brings.”

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The Transit Connect has been offered in the U.S. market for several years but until now, the focus has been on commercial and fleet users, rather than on retail buyers. The personal use market becomes a major target as Ford rolls out an all-new update of the Transit Connect previewed several months ago at a company-wide product event in Amsterdam.  European buyers have had the option of buying a van-like Transit Connect called the Tourneo.

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First Look: 2013 Ford Flex

Redesign maintains focus on functionality.

by on Nov.08, 2011

Ford will show the updated 2013 Flex at the upcoming L.A. Auto Show.

“I just couldn’t warm up to the Flex until I actually drove it,” said Jan Queen, a suburban Detroit media executive, echoing the opinion of many motorists when it comes to Ford’s big people mover.  The exterior styling, as designers like to say, is “polarizing,” though it has generated plenty of kudos for its interior functionality and flexibility.

Now, Ford is hoping to win more bravos for design, as well, with an updated version of the Flex ready to take its bows at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month.

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The 2013 update will feature some modest styling changes but put the emphasis on performance, fuel economy, comfort and functionality.

As with the first-generation, the 2013 Ford Flex eschews the bulbous curves of the classic minivan in favor of a more retro-modern two-box design.  The exterior updates are relatively modest, the most notable being the more machine-like grille, with a billet-sized bar stretching across the grille and anchoring newly-updated projector-style headlamps.

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Ford to Invest $400 Million in Kansas City Plant

Automaker hasn't announced what vehicle it will build there.

by on Jan.19, 2011

Ford will invest $400 million in its Kansas City factory to produce an unspecified vehicle, while retaining 3,750 jobs.

The plant currently builds F-150s and Escapes, but Escape production is moving to Louisville.

Speculation about the vehicle that will be built at Kansas City centers on the 2012 C-Max, a seven-passenger microvan that is similar is size to the Mazda 5.

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“This investment and promise of a new vehicle to be built in Kansas City reinforces Ford’s commitment to U.S. manufacturing and American jobs,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas.

“Investing in our plants, products and people is critical to Ford’s ability to compete with the best in the business. Ford is committed to doing everything it takes to work with its partners, including the United Auto Workers, to remain competitive.”

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