The annual international van of the year award was recently held in Hanover, Germany, which saw Ford take top the spot for 2013. This is now the 4th time the American multinational manufacturer has been crowned the overall winner of the most prestigious award in the light commercial vehicle sector since it began in 1992.
The winner is decided by a panel of 24 countries whose judges will mark each of the manufacturer’s vehicles on the efficiency to carry goods, safety precautions and sustainability. Chairman, Pieter Wieman said the winning van, the Ford Transit Custom, had impressed the majority of the judges on a number of aspects. They were extremely impressed at the fact that Ford had managed to design and build the new Transit Custom on an existing platform, including the use of existing driveline and chassis components. He also added the panel were impressed with the new standards Ford have set in terms of driveability, style and load carriage ability.
With its new sleek design, the Ford Transit Custom has almost car like features both internally and externally, which attracts the wide range of commercial vehicle users who will use their vans for both trade use, as well as private journeys.
A key feature of their new design was based around the safety of the vehicle. A lot of emphasis was put into this area and a van was created to maximise the protection of its passengers. Using ultra-high-strength steel, the van has over 40% of it incorporated within the main body, providing a much safer cab to be in in the event of a collision with another vehicle or object.
Ford has also tried to maintain their good price quality ratio many of its customers have become accustomed to with other products they offer. They have aimed to reduce the cost of ownership claiming they have ‘class-leading fuel economy’ which is supplied by an improved 2.2 litre Duratorq TDCI diesel engine. With other claims of minimal maintenance and repair times and a 12-year anti protection warranty, this new model by Ford certainly looks like it could be a winner with a lot of people.
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By Mark Bakharia