As leader in the heavy panel van sector, Ford cannot afford to be left behind as the pack snaps away at the heels of its market share.
But in the past few months, the manufacturer has made a series of moves that not only keeps the Transit up with the rest, but pulls it ahead of the opposition again in terms of flexibility and – perhaps more importantly – safety.
For starters, Transit is the only mainstream heavy panel van on the market to be equipped with a driver's airbag. All the others charge extra for this basic necessity. But from this month, Transit has another unique selling point – ABS brakes will be a standard fitting across the range too.
Meanwhile on the engine front, June saw the launch of a new 87bhp engine offering 169lb-ft of torque which will replace the old 74bhp unit, thus increasing the lowest powered model by 13bhp.
On load area, Transit now gets extra low floor models which increase load area by 6%, raise payload by 50kg and drop the floor by100mm.
CV marketing manager Jon Fisher said: 'This makes Transit ideal for skilled tradespeople who need excellent loadspace combined with greater access. It is also ideal for multi-drop companies and high street delivery agents who carry a wide range of goods, often not on pallets.'
Finally, Ford is offering a new range of option packs on Transit. The Security pack includes perimeter alarm, full unglazed bulkhead, power heated mirrors and rear parking sensor for £350. The Courier pack has bulkhead, load area protection, cargo stowage rails and rear bumper step at £250.
The Air pack has air conditioning, tinted glass and full bulkhead for £700, while the Executive pack features power mirrors, second remote central locking keyfob, power windows, fog lamps, metallic paint, CD/radio, wheel covers, tinted glass and Quickclear windscreen. Price is £500.
Director of commercial vehicles, Gary Whittam, commented: 'Our customers spend a lot of time in their vehicles and they have many different jobs. We wanted to let customers tailor their vehicles to meet this enormous variation.'