We've seen it in photos and in person, but haven't gotten a chance to drive the 2015 Ford Transit full-size van yet. But the time is drawing closer to the launch of the highly anticipated replacement from the aging E-Series, and Ford is preparing for the launch by hiring 1000 new workers at its Kansas City Assembly plant, which will build the 2015 Transit, with 175 to be hired by March 2014 in preparation for the new van's launch.

Ford is expecting to hire 5000 new employees in 2014, the company's largest hiring initiative in more than a decade. With the new hires at the Kansas City, Ford now ranks among the top 10 largest employers in the state of Missouri, with the total number of employees at Kansas City to exceed 4600 by next spring.

Kansas City is also a significant facility for Ford, being one of two plants that build the F-150. The new aluminum-body F-150 will first launch out of Dearborn Truck, with Kansas City starting production on the new model in the first quarter of 2015. Production of the current steel-body model will continue in Kansas City for most of 2014.

The Transit has been one of Europe's most popular commercial vans for more than four decades. With more than twice the cargo capacity, a higher payload capacity, and higher fuel efficiency, the new Transit promises to give the benchmark Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and newcomer Ram ProMaster some stiff competition in the commercial van segment

Source: Ford