At one time Ford advertising showed a hand holding a crystal ball. The caption was, “There is a Ford In Your Future.” In those days they were hoping you would remember that phrase, bypass all the other available models, and purchase a Ford.
Since the demise of the GM Astro Van in 2005, the only available vans are full-sized models such as the Chevy Express, Ford Econoline or the even larger Dodge Sprinter. Moving a big van around in city traffic, and then finding suitable parking spaces, can be a real problem. Mini-vans are perfect for most of the jobs locksmiths do. The products we sell are small, we use mostly hand tools, and a small bench to sit and work at is all we need.
Ford has just introduced a Transit Connect van for 2010. No crystal ball is required this time because nobody else currently sells a similar vehicle. The Ford Transit Connect has a time-proven, reliable design. It has been sold in 55 countries across Europe since 2001. While slightly smaller than an Astro Van, it still fits the bill for the economy and convenience we need.
The Ford Transit Connect has a 1600-pound payload, sliding doors on each side and two hinged rear doors. The vehicle is high enough for drivers to easily observe traffic conditions and low enough for simple loading and unloading of parts and tools at every job site.
Interior space lends itself to accepting custom work cabinets. Literature from Ford lists three companies, Leggett & Platt, Adrian Steel and Sortimo as three companies who have a variety of Ford Transit Connect interior packages including benches, racks and bins to meet your needs.
Driver comforts have also been addressed. The Ford Transit Connect handles and parks like a car. Fuel economy is EPA estimated at 22 city and 25 highway. An optional powerful internet-capable in-dash computer and communications system is available. The package includes a wireless keyboard, touch screen and Bluetooth connectivity. An optional wireless printer even allows you to generate work orders right at your vehicle.
Ford also has a “Tool Link” system available. After fitting an RFID tag on your tools, you build an inventory list. Tool Link then checks to see that all the inventoried tools have been returned to your truck before leaving a job site.
Ford must believe that the Transit Connect is especially suited for locksmiths. Pictures for this article were taken at a local locksmith business one summer afternoon recently as Ford factory reps visited Chicago area locksmiths to show the vehicle and answer questions.
For information, visit the web site www.fordvehicles.com/transitconnect.