The all-new Ford Transit Connect is the overwhelming choice of an expert jury of commercial vehicle editors for the prestigious title of International Van of the Year 2003.
The 20-member panel of the Association of Commercial and Specialised Vehicle Editors (ACE), awarded Ford Transit Connect a record 126 points out of a maximum of 140 points that can be given to a single candidate in the voting.
Designed and engineered specifically for the commercial vehicle market, the new member of the Ford Commercial Vehicles family joins its larger sibling in the Van of the Year roll of honour: the latest generation Ford Transit was the unquestionable winner of the same award in 2001, with a score of 112 points.
Transit Connect was rated first or equal first by all of the 20 jury members from the four finalists for the 2003 award.
"Ford, unlike several of its competitors, did not use car-derived major components or parts in its construction. The result is a no-compromise commercial vehicle with a lot of designed-in technical content," commented Pieter Wieman, chairman of the Van of the Year jury. "The Ford Transit Connect distinguishes itself from existing integrated-style commercial vehicles in that it is designed and built specifically as a small van.
"Furthermore, with Transit Connect offered in two versions, the short wheelbase normal roof and the long wheelbase high roof model, Ford manages to cover both the light and sub-one tonne commercial vehicles segments with one vehicle line!
"What was more than obvious to us, as commercial vehicles expert editors, is that during the design and development stages, Ford carefully listened to the wants and demands of customers, both large and small, and in many European countries," added Wieman. "This has resulted in a long list of clever and practical solutions in the areas of handling, accessibility, security and safety.
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