Demand for Ford Transit Range Prompts European Manufacturing Growth

Demand for Ford Transit Range Prompts European Manufacturing Growt

Demand for Ford Transit Range Prompts European Manufacturing Growt

The Transit has long been synonymous with vans as a whole in the UK and Ford’s flagship family of LCVs continues to dominate in terms of sales, so it is no surprise to see that the firm is upping its manufacturing capacity to cater to exceptional levels of demand across Europe.

Business Vans reports that the equivalent of just over £40 million is being spent to increase the size of a Turkish factory at which many Transit models destined for the European market are already built. This will enable Ford to pump out 330,000 vans a year from this single location, up by 12 per cent on current levels.

It will be a year until the investment reaches fruition and the extra van output can be achieved. As well as taking steps to speed up the rate at which vehicles pass along the production line, there are other areas in which cash is being spent to increase efficiency.

For example, Ford will be making use of a larger number of robotic systems to manufacture the body panels and chassis of the Transit vans that are created at its Turkish factory. It will also extend the building in which paint is applied to the LCVs, so that more can be managed simultaneously.

Spokesperson, Haydar Yenigun, said that with this healthy injection of cash, the site in Kocaeli will continue to represent one of Ford’s most important hubs on the continent, enabling it to satisfy the expectations of customers everywhere and ensure that there is no shortage of Transit models to buy.

Ford’s position at the top of the LCV market in the UK is reflected throughout the rest of Europe, with both the full-sized transit and the more compact Transit Custom model managing to easily outsell their closest rivals and allowing them to effectively sit unchallenged.

This was not always the case, as just five years ago, Ford’s European van sales ranked seventh overall, meaning that in the interim, it has made significant progress and now accounts for 13.2 per cent of the market as a whole. It is expected to take an even larger share by the end of 2017, in part thanks to the strong demand for its largest van models.

Ford executive, Linda Cash, said that the additional investment in its Turkish factory was not just about meeting demand today, but about preparing for the changes that are set to come about over the next few years. Specifically, the introduction of a plug-in hybrid version of the Transit Custom, which is scheduled for 2019, will put additional strain on its manufacturing resources, which will need to be carefully managed.

Ford has certainly enjoyed the benefits of record van sales in the UK in recent years, which is why the Transit is so widely available on the used LCV marketplace. As demand is not in decline, its preeminent position is not set to be challenged, even as rivals take action.

Categories: Ford / Transit /

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