Ford Commercial Vans: A Journey to Success
Ford Motor Company, founded by Henry Ford, is the fifth largest automaker in the world and second largest in the U.S, according to the annual sales of 2010. The company began manufacturing automobiles in 1990s. The company is now over 100 years old.
It started to build commercial vehicles from the beginning of its journey, but earlier attempts at building trucks met with limited success. Ford introduced first of these trucks in 1905, just two years after its first automobiles.
Ford contributed heavily during World War II and like many of the companies of that time, it faced financial difficulties after the war. But it survived the crisis and started producing cars that would serve people’s demand. The F-100 was the first postwar truck and it became a classic. After that, Ford started to manufacture cars with newer features, meeting greater demands.
The 4,376mm long Ford Falcon was the one of first generation vans made by Ford Motor Company. These vans had flat nose with engine between and behind the front seat. These early models had a 144 cid 6 cylinder engines with a manual speed transmission.
These vans were an immediate success. The first generation models (1961- 91967) also included standard vans, custom Econoline buses, standard pickups and custom pickups. Ford then changed the van design in 1968, by moving the engine all the way to the front under a short hood.
This year Ford also introduced “Twin I-Beam” front suspension design. In 1972 ford came out with a feature of rear sliding doors and a new model. It also offered the first van with a stripped chassis used in the Hi-Cube van.
The 1968 Econoline, 1970 Econoline and 1973 Econoline 100 were some of models of that period. New body style was introduced in 1975 with nose with a proper hood. The headlights were redesigned into square headlights. Ford’s “blue Oval” logo was integrated in the front grille.
This third generation models included 1975 Econoline 150 Chateau, 1990 Econoline Box Van, 1990 Econoline 150, 1991 Club Wagon and Ford Econoline 150 camper wagon. The 1992 series was available with a 4.9, 5.0, 5.8, and 7.5 litter V8 engines.
Motor Trend magazine awarded the consumer friendly Chateau Club Wagon as Truck of the Year for 1992. In 1997 Ford updated the front end, dash board and engines. Ford again redesigned the Econoline in 2001 and introduced E-150 Traveler model suited for family usages.
In 2003, Ford introduced a new grille style and added a new engine cover cup holder and globe box. E-series was listed as one of the 20 best selling vehicles in the United States by Autodata in early 2007. In 2007, Ford became the first automotive manufacturer to offer a full-size van that was capable of using E-85 with the 5.4 L engine.
Ford has been one of the dominating players of the Commercial Van market for decades. It can easily be said that with the efficient research and development team, the future prospects of its commercial vans are as bright as possible.