Second Transit Econetic key
17 October 2011
Ford's UK director of commercial vehicles Steve Clary has identified the new, additional, LWB Econetic Transit as a key vehicle for the recently launched Euro5 range.
As well as the SWB Econetic, there's now also a two-tonne version pitched as an alternative to the 350LWB rear-wheel drive model that's the second most popular Transit in the range.
Ford claims the 350 MR 125 Econetic model will save £3390 in fuel costs over 80,000 miles, more than accounting for the £750 higher price, and the payload is also higher than the rear-drive alternative thanks to the less weighty running gear, though load space is around 10% down as the Econetic is a medium-roof rather than high-roof for the RWD.
Clary said the biggest problem will be educating customers about the possibility. "Not just Ford, but generally, sales people will wait for the customer to come in and see what they want - we need to sit the customer down and talk them into the right product," said Clary.
"What I want to drive home with our dealers is 'let's talk to customers about this front-wheel drive Econetic two tonne stage five variant; it's £800 more but because it goes from rear- to front-wheel drive it increases the payload and there's a £3239 saving. Unless you're towing why would you not have an Econetic 2t over the rear-wheel drive?'"
He said each Ford commercial vehicle dealer will be mandated a 2t Econetic demonstrator vehicle "whether they want it or not", as part of a push to educate customers about their options, including the fleet market.
"We think fleet people are up to speed with everything we do, but they're not," said Clary.
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