R.L. POLK CONFIRMS FORD E-SERIES VANS ARE INDUSTRY’S LONGEST-LASTING VANS
DEARBORN, Mich., June 28, 2007 – The new 2008 Ford E-Series will hit the road in August as the most capable and durable van on the market after R.L. Polk & Co., the leading provider of automotive market data, certified that Ford has four times more full-size vans on the road with 250,000 miles or more than any other competitor.
(PressZoom) - DEARBORN, Mich., June 28, 2007 – The new 2008 Ford E-Series will hit the road in August as the most capable and durable van on the market after R.L. Polk & Co., the leading provider of automotive market data, certified that Ford has four times more full-size vans on the road with 250,000 miles or more than any other competitor.
Since durability is the top priority for businesses that depend on products like E-Series to serve customers, the new claim will underpin Ford’s 2008 E-Series “Built Ford Tough” marketing launch, beginning in mid-July. The 2008 Ford E-Series cutaway van also raises its own payload leadership to a 14,500-pound gross maximum vehicle weight rating. Its unmatched capability is reinforced by the bold, Ford F-Series Super Duty-inspired front-end design.
“Ford is building on 28 years of full-size van leadership by delivering more of what customers want – more style, more capability and even more durability,” says Joe Castelli, director, Ford Commercial Truck Marketing. “There are quadruple the number of Ford E-Series vans with 250,000 miles or more on the road than anyone else, giving our customers the confidence they need to run their business smoothly every day.”
New E-Series Built Ford Tough The new 2008 E-Series builds on this test of stamina by delivering more of the “Built Ford Tough” engineering that customers want, including a solid, improved frame, all-new brakes and service intervals that are increased from 5,000 to 7,500 miles. This formula of leading durability and lower ownership costs is expected to help expand E-Series’ leading base of loyal customers with nearly 40 percent being repeat buyers.
Other improvements include a revised steering system, improved front and rear suspensions, and all-new more durable brakes to improve driving dynamics – specifically maneuverability and ride – for van customers who battle urban streets daily. Passenger wagons that routinely carry up to 15 passengers feature all-new rear seats that, combined with the improved ride, make for more pleasant road trips.
The Ford-exclusive AdvanceTrac® with RSC (roll stability control) has been added as a standard safety feature on 2008 Ford E-350 passenger wagons with the 5.4-liter V-8. An engine-only traction control system is now available on all other models.
To help protect cargo, Ford is introducing a segment-exclusive E-Guard Cargo Protection System™ – an optional double-lock design that requires that the vehicle key be used to unlock the side and rear doors. All vans and wagons also come standard with a steel reinforced rear license plate bracket for added security.
Ford E-Series vans are used for a broad range of work, including transportation of large groups in passenger vans, goods and services deliveries in cargo vans (or wagons) and more specialized applications such as ambulances that are built from cutaway models. The common denominator is that each of these customers relies on their van’s durability to conduct business, transport large groups or even save lives.
Ford’s E-Series lineup is building on 28 straight years of leadership as sales are up eight percent in 2007, accounting for more than half of the full-size van market after taking 50 percent of the 350,000-van market in 2006 . The dominant figures include about 65 percent share of the cutaway segment, including more than 90 percent of the ambulance business in this category. Ford will re-introduce the 6.0-liter Powerstroke diesel engine – a more fuel-efficient choice for ambulances that are constantly idling on standby – to the full-size van lineup a few months after the 2008 E-Series launch.
The 150-mpg Club Polk certified the 250,000-mile durability claim for Ford by tracing odometer readings recorded during maintenance stops of all operable vans. Ford kicked off the research last year confident that there were more E-Series vans on the road with 250,000 miles or more than any other full-size van. But, Ford engineers and marketers also learned that there are more than quadruple the number of these high-mileage E-Series than the next best van.
“We put E-Series vans through millions of rigorous ‘Built Ford Tough’ testing miles so customers can depend on them every day,” says Cristi Brown, Ford E-Series van marketing manager.
Nowhere is this durability more evident than at VPSI, the world’s largest provider of van pooling vehicles and one of Ford’s largest van customers. Started by a group of Chrysler employees in 1977, the company has since almost completely shifted its fleet of full-size vans – about 3,000 total – to Ford E-Series models based on the “Built Ford Tough” durability reputation. Today, VPSI estimates that this dependability equates to a 42 percent savings in maintenance and service costs.
“VPSI has saved 42 percent on maintenance, repair and tires during the past five years as we switched our full-size van fleet to Ford E-350 models,” says Steve Pederson, VPSI vice president, Fleet Risk and Management. “The number of tow bills also has decreased 41 percent during the same period.”
The E-Series vanpool vehicles achieve 150 passenger miles per gallon with multiple customers riding in each van. Van pooling is on the rise with VPSI’s North American operations in 50 major urban markets growing more than 30 percent in the past three years. VPSI estimates its fleet of vehicles reduces 650 million miles of vehicle travel and 250,000 tons of carbon dioxide pollution each year.
“Van pooling continues to improve the environment by providing an alternative means of commuting to and from work while preventing solo drivers from collectively emitting numerous tons of pollutants into the air we breathe,” says Jean Ghianuly, senior employee transportation coordinator, The Aerospace Corporation. “Doing our part to share the air by utilizing alternate commute modes truly makes sense.”
The Million Milers Ford’s leading number of high-mileage vans includes more than a few customers who have logged 1 million miles. The 1991 E-Series van operated by the HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Kingsport, Tenn., is closing in on this milestone with about 950,000 miles recorded during two-and-a-half decades of picking up and dropping off wheelchair patients in the northeastern corner of the state.
“That’s a lot of miles. I personally have never heard of a vehicle with that many miles on it that’s still in a workable, safe condition,” said Robert Ley, the hospital’s director of marketing operations. “And that’s without replacing an engine or three.”
Traveling up and down the hills and hollows of rural northeastern Tennessee, the Ford E-350 van, which runs on regular gas, logs about 60,000 miles a year, providing needed medical services in the foothills of the Appalachians. This is a common scene for America’s favorite van as it continues serving the needs of many communities across the U.S.
“The three most important things to an E-Series customer are versatility, capability and durability – the keys to the Built Ford Tough promise,” says Ford’s Cristi Brown. “Van customers depend on their vehicles to get the job done to serve their customers – their businesses depend on the Ford E-Series’ proven dependability.”
In its fleet, the hospital also has two other Ford vans but they’re newer models. They only have 400,000 and 500,000 miles on them.
About Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 260,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com.
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