This week, Ford announced that it has built the seven millionth Transit van since the nameplate launched in 1965 in Europe. The milestone was celebrated at the official opening of a new Transit assembly plant in Nanchang, China, in the presence of Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally.
“The Ford Transit plays a significant role in the lives and jobs of millions of people,” Mulally said. “From getting workers to a building site, to delivering important packages, or even rushing a patient to the hospital, people all over the world rely on Ford Transits to get the job done,” Ford’s CEO added.
From 1965, the Transit range has developed a wide range of bodystyles and variants, from the parcel van, through tipper trucks and campers, to noteworthy one-offs, including the Cosworth V8-powered Supervans.
The first million milestone was reached in 1976, with the next ones being passed in 1985, 1994, 2000, 2005 and 2010. To get a visual idea of what 7 million Transits look like, Ford says that if they were lined up end to end, they would stretch from London to Sydney, Australia, and back again.
Considering Ford’s plans for the near future, the 8 million production mark for the Transit may come even quicker than before, as the U.S. carmaker will launch an all-new 2-tonne Transit in Europe in spring 2014 that will join the already renewed range of vans including the Transit Custom, Transit Connect and Transit Courier.
2014 will also see the introduction of the Transit to North America for the first time, with the North American Transit to be built in Kansas City, Missouri. In total, Ford targets sales of more than 400,000 1-tonne and 2-tonne Transits each year by 2016, which means one Transit vehicle will be sold every 80 seconds.
By Dan Mihalascu