When the new model was originally launched in the summer, ESP was a paid-for option. But Ford was forced into a rethink when both the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Volkswagen Crafter offered the anti-skid system as standard when they were put on sale at the same time. Transit chassis-cab versions will get ESP as standard next summer.
Announcing the move at the Hanover Van show in Germany, Jurgen Stackmann, Ford’s German director of marketing and sales, said: ‘We decided to make ESP standard to make our contribution to greater road safety.’
He called the Transit ‘the chameleon of the Ford range’ because it was offered in so many guises. Explaining the aims of the new Transit, Stackmann said: ‘We started by asking customers what they required in a van and their priorities were high durability, high volume and low operating costs. We have addressed all these issues in new Transit and have also given it the feel of a car.’
The judges were also impressed with the car-like cab and dash-mounted gearlever, which allows for much more positive changes.