The Ford Transit Connect is a small van that gets lost in the land of big trucks and SUVs. It provides a versatile platform for tradespeople, hauling a surprising amount of cargo or up to seven passengers. It's ideal as a small workhorse but never caught on in the US. Rumours of its demise were already circling, but today Ford made it official and announced it would no longer be sold in the US after 2023.
As a practical and functional vehicle, the Ford Transit Connect is good but unremarkable. Manufactured in Valencia, Spain, it made its way to the US as a 2010 model and looked a bit like a tall version of the first-generation Ford Fusion. The second generation debuted in 2012 and received a facelift in 2019. Ford planned to bring a third-generation version of the Transit Connect to the US before pulling the plug.
Originally Ford wanted to shift production of the Transit Connect to the Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico. Once there, it would have shared a platform with the Ford Maverick and the Bronco Sport. According to a press release, Ford's decision to cancel these plans is based on its "efforts to reduce global manufacturing cost and complexity, alongside decreased demand for the compact van segment."
The news is hardly surprising. Reports of the Transit Connect's demise started last August when Automotive News reported that “three people with knowledge” claimed Ford planned to discontinue it. Small vans never caught on in the US the way small trucks and SUVs like the aforementioned Maverick and Bronco Sport have. Ford's decision follows the ones made by Ram to drop the ProMaster City van and GM and Nissan to discontinue their small vans in the US market.
Ford also confirmed on Tuesday that the Transit Connect would continue to be built in Spain and sold in European markets. In addition to the Transit Connect, Ford makes a full-sized Transit van, a version of which is manufactured at the Claycomo plant outside Kansas City, Missouri, that will continue to be sold in the US.