DEARBORN, MI. It was "Vandemonium" on Monday in and around the Ford Motor Co. world headquarters.
Full-size van sales are up 23% since Ford introduced the Transit in June 2014, with Transit driving 78% of that growth. Ford Transit is also the best-selling cargo van in the world, according to the company.
Ford celebrated its fast-growing work and recreational van segments by showing off more than 30 casual and occupational examples of the vehicle during the Vandemonium event.
Ford also gathered some of the country’s top custom fabricators and upfitters to showcase vans for both work and play. Everything from ambulances to traveling billboards to delivery vehicles and luxurious conversion vans were on display.
The increasing popularity of vans is good business, not just for Ford and its dealers, but downstream as well.
“Commercial vans have a ripple economic effect,” said Tim Stoehr, Ford general fleet marketing manager. “Because commercial customers actually use vans as equipment for their business, a Transit or Transit Connect can generate potential profits at multiple levels – for Ford, its dealers, upfitters and end-user customers.”
“Our company size has doubled, both in vehicles produced and revenues created, since Transit entered the market,” said Amanda McTavish, marketing director, Nor-Cal Vans. “We’ve been able to expand into new markets and offer more options.”
John Early, owner of The Shoe Shine Guys, was on hand shining shoes out of his company’s Transit upfitted as a mobile shoe shine stand.
“Mobile businesses are on the rise,” he said. “We need a vehicle with a sharp look, great gas mileage, roomy and workable interior, versatility in pricing, and more than anything, reliability. Ford Transit is the answer to all of that – and more.”