Fleet News

CV Show 2005: Host of launches for Ford

FORD displayed a host of new niche models and concept vehicles on its stand – and the Ranger tipper concept (pictured) certainly had the crowds flocking round.

Sales of the Ranger increased by 40% to 7,539 last year and the tipper is planned as an extension of Ford’s One-Stop range of ready-for-work conversions.

Also in the concept stages was the Transit Connect crew van, featuring a second row of foldable seats.

Ford’s stand also featured a walk-through tunnel which told the 40-year story of the Ford Transit, which has topped the sales charts since its launch in 1965. To celebrate the landmark, Ford has launched a series of special Transits, including the T280 short wheelbase low roof 125bhp TDCi Hallmark at £15,350 ex-VAT and the T350 six-speed long wheelbase high roof 137bhp TDCi SilverBlue at £20,550.

Ford of Britain managing director Paul Thomas ex-plained how the manufacturer had kept its number one position in the sales charts.

He said: ‘We look forward, not back. We have taken a leadership stance in safety and were the first to make airbags and ABS brakes standard across our ranges, along with diagonal seatbelts and free driver training for minibus drivers.

‘It was very expensive but we felt it was the right thing to do.

‘Some people also forget that our vans are designed and built in Britain. In fact, we are the backbone of Britain and if there is a problem with a component, we can have the engineer in charge of that component on the customer’s doorstep the next day.’

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