BRENTWOOD, England – The new Ford Transit Custom has received Fleet World Honours for Best New Van and Best Medium Van, and took the award for Innovation. Ford was also recognised as the overall Van Manufacturer of the Year for 2013. The Ford B-MAX – another UK sales success for Ford – has also been honoured as Design of the Year.
Fleet World Honours are presented by the trade publication to motor manufacturers, service companies and individuals who have, in the opinion of the judges, achieved the highest possible level of excellence in their sector.
The hat-trick of awards for the Ford Transit Custom make it the fourth year in succession that the Transit family has received accolades from Fleet World. In 2010, the Ford Transit Connect won Best Small Van, in 2011 the Ford Transit received Best Medium Van and last year the Ford Transit won Best Large Van.
Phil Hollins, Ford of Britain fleet director, said: “The number and range of awards for Ford at the Fleet World Honours is a great result. The excellent design, research and development that has gone into the next-generation of Ford vehicles is paying off, and I’m delighted that Ford continues to have great products to offer all customers.”
Van Manufacturer of the Year
Ford continues to lead the UK commercial vehicle market with a 22.3 per cent share for the year-to-date. The new Ford Transit Custom is the first in a series of Ford commercial vehicle launches, to be followed this year by the new Ford Transit Connect, and next year by the all-new Ford Transit (two-tonne model) and all-new Ford Transit Courier.
Fleet World managing editor, Ross Durkin, said: “This was without doubt the hardest year ever for the judges. The industry is seeing the introduction of some really exciting new products and technologies, and Ford is continuing to lead the way.
The introduction of the new Transit Custom has raised the bar for vans of its size, and I’m sure that fleet customers are looking forward to all those Ford vehicles still to come.”
Best New Van and Best Medium Van
The Ford Transit Custom – launched earlier this year – has already sold over 3,100 units in the UK. The all-new van was chosen as the winner due to its extended service intervals of two years/30,000 miles, reduced ownership costs, and a significant uplift in residual values – all helping to benefit fleet customers.
Ford currently sells around 60,000 Transit vans a year in the UK and leads the medium van market with 33.5 per cent market share for the year-to-date.
Ford has claimed the Innovation Award for the second year running with the new Transit Custom. The van is packed full of innovative features including Ford’s Integrated Roof Rack, Load-through Bulkhead and Ford SYNC with Emergency Assistance, which can automatically call the emergency services using a Bluetooth™ connected mobile phone. It is the first van to be awarded five stars in Euro NCAP testing, receiving advanced rewards for its Lane Keeping Alert system and Emergency Assistance system.
This latest Ford Transit van also includes a number of features not usually found on commercial vehicles, including Load-sensing Electronic Stability Control, rollover mitigation and hill-start assist.
Van Fleet World editor, John Kendall, said: “Smooth, refined, quiet and comfortable, the Ford Transit Custom ticks almost every box for the driver. And, despite a design that makes the van appear physically smaller on the road, the Transit Custom offers improved load volumes and payloads, with reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions. Ford’s dominance of the UK commercial vehicle market certainly looks secure.”
The Ford B-MAX has a unique new body design which eliminates the traditional central pillar and features twin rear sliding doors. This innovative format delivers best-in-class access to the cabin, together with unmatched convenience and flexibility. The innovation continues inside the cabin, where the interior offers exceptional space and versatility for such a compact vehicle. Ford has sold nearly 10,000 B-MAX models in the UK since launch in August last year.
Fleet World editor, Steve Moody, said: “The B-Max is a brilliantly clever solution to fitting a family in a small MPV. Its pillarless doors work beautifully, offering up extra space and making it easy to get in and out. The result is the car is actually more practical than considerably larger MPVs – a triumph of design, packaging and engineering.”