Vehicles

Dealership Delivers Its First Ford Transit Van To Operator

Posted on August 22, 2014 by - Also by this author - About the author

Overland Chauffeured Services owner Diane Forgy with her first Ford Transit Van, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, near Kansas City, Mo.
Overland Chauffeured Services owner Diane Forgy with her first Ford Transit Van, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, near Kansas City, Mo.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Ford Transit Van has officially hit limousine fleets in the U.S., as Diane Forgy of Overland Chauffeured Services picked up her first one Aug. 21 at a local dealership.

The 2015 Ford Transit Van is also the first one sold by Towne Livery in Orchard Park, N.Y., a primary national dealer of livery vehicles. And it’s definitely among the first wave of Transit Vans that are taking chauffeured clients on the road this summer.

The all-black Transit Van bought by Forgy can carry up to 14 passengers plus the chauffeur, and has a 147.6-in. wheelbase for a GVWR of 10,350. It's powered by a 3.5-litre, eco-boost, V-6 engine with 310 hp. Considered heavy duty, the luxury van also is equipped with dual rear-wheels, a high roof and extra-long wheelbase, which endows it with enough cargo space for the passenger load.

This particular Transit Van costs about $47,810 based on sticker price plus options and packages, but limousine operators can get such Vans in the $43,000 ballpark, making it considerably less expensive than a competing Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van model, said David Bastian, commercial fleet manager for Towne Livery and Towne Auto Group, who sold Forgy the van.

“I’m looking forward to selling this product to the industry and there will be demand for it,” Bastian told LCT. “It seems to be that this is what the majority of the industry is looking for.”

The entry of the Ford Transit Van into the chauffeured transportation market marks the beginning of serious competition in the upscale limo van market, which until now has been almost exclusively dominated by Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. A prototype Ford Transit Van suitable for chauffeured service debuted in February at the 2014 International LCT Show in Las Vegas.

The Transit line models — which include the large Van model ideal for the limousine industry, a base Transit model and a smaller wagon version — come in 85 different variations, Bastian said.

“The challenge in putting these thing together was figuring out what the industry really wants,” Bastian said. Operators can get Transit Van versions that carry eight, 10 and 12 passengers as well. The standard warranty on the Transit Van is 3 years/36,000 miles with extended options available  for an additional three to four years and up to 125,000 miles.

Forgy, a board director of the National Limousine Association and its President from 2010-2013 who has been an operator for 25 years, told LCT the Transit is one of the most versatile and affordable fleet vehicles ever introduced to the limousine industry. The pricing puts it about $10,000 to $15,000 below a Sprinter Van, depending on models and options.  

“It is a significant improvement to the Club Wagon with the extra roof height and fixed luggage space,” she said. “And it has the exterior styling that makes it appealing for a variety of services and events.”

Since Overland handles a heavy corporate and group business, the Transit Van will be assigned to runs ranging from basic shuttle trips and airport service to hourly charters for dinners and sports events, Forgy said. She opted for the cloth seating for now, but may eventually upgrade the interior with TVs, wood trim, more lighting and black leather seats. The Van has a 12V/USB plug-in/port up front and a 12V outlet midway in the back.

“In addition, we do a lot of large, high-end weddings and social events so this vehicle has all the styling and versatility to be extremely popular,” she said. “It’s going to work for just about anything that requires eight to 12 passengers at a good price point. It will be exciting to see the possibilities for various interior modifications to include all levels of limousine and executive styling.  I hope we can add more in the future.”

The Ford Transits are built at an assembly plant in the Kansas City region, Bastian said. So far, he has 15 Transit Vans on order for operator clients. “Many potential customers are waiting to see what it looks like.”

Related LCT article: Ford Transit Van Models To Spark New Options

Related LCT article: Ford Transit Van Luxury Cabin Concept

View comments or post a comment on this story. (5 Comments)

More News

Cadillac Plans To Steer Clear Driverless Cars

“The notion of removing the driver is foreign to us. It’s not what we stand for," says President Johan de Nysschen.

Used Town Car Stretch Once Ferried John Glenn

Vehicle Pick Of The Week: Specialty Vehicles Co. offers a pristine, one-of-a-kind retro-stretch with a distinguished legacy.

Navigator Concept Reappears At LA Auto Show

Even outside of the vehicle's novel features, there’s plenty the company gets right.

2017 Lincoln Continental Is An Audi Contender

Vehicle Review: Besides looking luxurious on the outside, one of the biggest selling points is its interior.

2017 Cadillac CT6 Premium Is Comeback Car

Vehicle Review: As far as full-size luxury sedans go, the CT6 is truly one of the best in the world.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (5)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blogs

See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - December 2016 $12.95 GLOBAL/INTERNATIONAL ISSUE COVER STORY: * The Coolest Operators on the Planet * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close