Ford debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in February a four-pronged productivity enhancer aimed at construction contractors and business owners. Called Ford Work Solutions, one of the offerings is an in-dash computer, developed with Magneti Marelli and powered by Microsoft Auto, that provides high-speed Internet access via the Sprint mobile broadband network, as well as navigation via Garmin. A tool tracking system, developed in partnership with DeWalt, is another offering.
“The in-vehicle computer and the RFID tracking system called Tool Link are industry firsts, and Ford is excited to bring them to market,” said William Frykman, Ford Work Solutions Product and Business Development Manager. A fleet telematics and diagnostics system, as well as a cable locking system developed with Master Lock, round out the offerings. First Work Solutions will be available on 2009 F-150 pickup trucks, F-Series Super Duty pickup trucks, 2009 E-Series vans, and the 2010 Transit Connect.
The Transit Connect van, designed and engineered by Ford in Europe, comes to the North American market in mid-2009. Since its 2003 introduction in Europe, Transit Connect’s best year was 2007 when sales hit 109,900 units.
In North America, the vehicle with a cargo capacity of 143 ft3 (4.05 m3) will be sold with a 2.0-L four-cylinder gasoline engine, the same engine that powers the Ford Focus. (In Europe, the van is sold with a range of diesel engine options.)
Transit Connect is built at a plant in Kocaeli, Turkey.