Charter Communications Purchases 800 2015 Ford Transit Vans
First Large-Volume Fleet Order for New Van
Convinced that the future of light commercial cargo vehicles is the Euro-style “tall van,” Dearborn decided to bring the Transit to the North American market for 2015, ready to do battle with the established player in the segment, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. While the Sprinter has a loyal following the commercial fleet markets, there’s no denying Ford’s reach with its vast dealership network, as well as the broader variety of powertrain options than the Sprinter and its lower cost. Ford just landed its first large-volume fleet purchase of Transit vans with 800 units by Connecticut-based Charter Communications, a cable, phone, and internet provider servicing customers in 29 states across the country.
Charter’s order consists of low-roof, short-wheelbase cargo vans, meaning they’ll most likely be gas models with the 3.7L V-6 Duratec. The Transit won the contract after extensive testing by the Charter fleet team, which specifically cited the van’s visibility, cargo capacity, fuel economy, and maneuverability as key attributes.
Ford has a proven track record of success with fleet sales, dominating the law enforcement segment with the Crown Victoria-based Police Interceptor for more than 15 years following the discontinuation of the Chevrolet Caprice in 1996. Somewhat unexpectedly, the Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility model has gone on to become the best-selling police vehicle since its introduction, and the commercial van market is the Sprinter’s to lose, so expect to start seeing more Transits in your neighborhood soon.