During the first nine months of 2013, Ford Motor Company sold 106,000 Transit and Transit Custom models, achieving its best share of the European medium van market in over 10 years. That 106,000 units sold figure means that a new Ford medium van is purchased every four minutes.
Driving The Blue Oval’s newfound success is the 2013 International Van of the Year — the new Transit Custom, which sold over 24,500 units in the year up to the end of September. Including full-size Transit and mid-size Transit Custom, Ford segment share through September grew to 14.3 percent, representing a growth of 1.4 percentage points year-over-year and the highest level since 2002.
Looking solely at the month of September 2013, Ford share of the medium van segment — including 1-ton and 2-ton commercial vans up to 3.5 tons gross vehicle mass — grew 1.1 percentage points year-over-year to 16.8 percent. That represents Ford’s best September share since 2001.
Those not immediately familiar with the Transit Custom should know that it’s the first of Ford’s line-up of four all-new, next-gen Transit commercial vehicles. The midsize van is, for all intents and purposes, a low-roof and front-wheel drive version of the full-size Transit. The second model in the all-new Transit portfolio is the new compact Transit Connect. Aimed at the 0.6-1.0-ton payload market, the compact Transit Connect is a global vehicle (unlike the Transit Custom) and was recently named 2014 International Van of the Year. The Transit Connect received 2,000 sold orders by the end of September even before vehicles began arriving in Ford dealerships.
“With the 2-tonne Transit and the compact Transit Courier completing Ford’s strongest ever line-up of Transit commercial vehicles in 2014, we are confident of maintaining this encouraging start,” said Kevin Griffin, CV marketing and sales director, Ford of Europe.
A note about the aforementioned numbers: they are based on Ford analysis of Polk registration data and take into account the automaker’s traditional 19 European markets, including: Austria, Belgium, Britain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Motrolix Take
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the combination of best-in-class product, global vehicles (as called for by the market) thanks to the One Ford strategy, and the synergistic benefits reaped from the first two elements is a winning formula. We expect The Blue Oval to continue gaining market share in the commercial van segment — not only in Europe, but all over the world.
We’re especially interested to see how much Ford’s market share grows in North America as it launches the new Transit in a market that’s been riddled with old-school vans that are as convenient, user-friendly, and efficient as a Model T.