Ford has seen a proliferation of mobile businesses such as The Shoe Shine Guys using its Transit full-size van.
 - Photo courtesy of Ford.

Ford has seen a proliferation of mobile businesses such as The Shoe Shine Guys using its Transit full-size van.

Photo courtesy of Ford.

Ford Motor Co. showed its Transit and Transit Connect vans with equipment for 35 different work or recreational segments at a media event on Monday called "Vandemonium."

Ford worked with the third-party auxilliary equipment providers to develop the vehicles that included ambulances, traveling billboards, delivery vehicles, and luxury passenger conversions. The upfitters also attended the event to discuss their vehicles and businesses with attendees.

Full-size van sales have increased 23% since Ford introduced the Transit in June 2014 to the U.S. market. The Transit is the best-selling cargo van in the world. In 2017, Ford sold 127,360 Transit vans in the U.S. Through August, Ford has sold 94,931.

"Commercial vans have a ripple economic effect," said Tim Stoehr, Ford's general fleet marketing manager. "Because commercial customers actually use vans as equipment for their business, a Transit or Transit Connect can generate potential profits at multiple levels — for Ford, its dealers, upfitters and end-user customers."

Ford is planning a midcycle update for its Transit full-size van, and will offer a third generation of its Transit Connect compact van for the 2019 model year. The vans have helped increase the number of mobile businesses, including The Shoe Shine Guys.

"Mobile businesses are on the rise," said John Early, owner of the shoe-shine stand on wheels. "We need a vehicle with a sharp look, great gas mileage, roomy and workable interior, versatility in pricing, and reliability."

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