Ford Transit History – 7 Million sold since 1965!
Swiss Vans is one of the largest van suppliers in Europe. We sell great vans from most manufacturers, all of them have their good and bad points. With such a large range of light commercial vehicles we don’t have favourites, though we do seem to sell a lot of VW Transporters and Ford Transits.
Every manufacturer now offers a similar selection of van options these days (e.g. Luton, chassis cab, panel vans, kombis, 3 lengths, 3 heights) and each manufacturer has its own perceived niche:
Vauxhall, Peugeot and Renault are seen as reliable workhorses, Citroen has cornered the ‘value’ market, Iveco is the ‘big jumbo’, and at the Marks and Spencer end of the Market, the ‘high quality, reliable, long lasting and always ultra cool’ Volkswagen wins every time! However, none of these have led the market for over 40 years. That honour goes to the humble Ford Transit which has a long history.
Ford Transit History – 10 things you may not know:
Ford Transit history started back in 1965, during 40 years of dominance it has gone through many evolutions, here’s just a few fun things it encountered en route to the history books:
- The Ford Transit has been the best selling light commercial van in Europe for over 40 years. Ford Transit’s history started with the Mark 1 (above)
- The Ford Transit was first launched in 1965 as a cargo van and by the year 2000 it was dominating the world. However, despite massive worldwide sales, it only recently began selling in North America.
- Ford Transit once produced ice cream vans! The van below is a typical example:
- Ford Transit history is mostly business related, although people often hire them to move house or to surf. However, according to Top Gear, British police also reported in the 1970s that 95% of robberies involving a vehicle involved a Ford Transit!
- Before the Mk. 1 was produced in 1965, there was another Ford vehicle which was given the name ‘Transit’ in Cologne… but it looked more like an old VW camper! Shown below, it is not considered to be an ancestor of the current van.
- The fourth generation model, which won the International Van of the Year 2001 also had some success with motorhome versions
- The five millionth Transit rolled off the Southampton line on Monday, 18 July 2005 and was donated to an English charity.
- To celebrate the Transit’s status once again, this time as International Van of the Year 2007, Ford built this stretch style van — the Transit XXL.
- Unlikely as it seems, the Ford Transit has made racing history with super versions, check out Richard Hammond’s review of the Super Sport version in 2013!
- Perhaps the most bizarre fact is that the Transit featured in ‘Ford Transit’, a 2002/2003 documentary by Dutch-Palestinian film director Hany Abu-Assad. The Transit minibus was the primary means of transport for Palestinians. The different travelers from all walks of life express opinions about Palestinian life and politics during that time in and around occupied territories. The bus was supplied by the Israeli police department to the Palestinian Authority to facilitate the transport of people in the territories.
The latest models are a world away from the Ford Transit mark one. If you are looking for a van with a history, you can’t go wrong – maybe the best thing about Ford Transit History is that its still being written and the latest model (shown below) is due to be released in May 2014!
Thanks to Wikipedia for their invaluable help with this article