Ford's third quarter sales of the Transit, Transit Connect (shown), and E-Series were its best in more than four decades.
 - Photo courtesy of Ford.

Ford's third quarter sales of the Transit, Transit Connect (shown), and E-Series were its best in more than four decades.

Photo courtesy of Ford.

Ford sold 65,288 Transit, Transit Connect, and E-Series vans in the third quarter, which was the most vans sold by the company in any third quarter since 1978, according to the company.

The company attributed the strong sales of its vans to companies that deliver goods, which is one of the highest growth areas of the transportation segment.

"The flexibility and versatility of Transit and Transit Connect make them popular with both businesses and families," said Malene Lane, Ford's fleet marketing manager. “But our record setting quarter is primarily due to strong fleet orders in July, August and September, especially in the areas of e-commerce and packaged goods delivery, rental, government, and mobility."

For the year to date, Ford has increased van sales by 21% over the same period in 2018.

Overall commercial vehicle sales, which includes Ford's trucks, expanded 2% in the quarter. Sales of Transit full-size vans increased 25%, while sales of Transit Connect compact vans increased 49%, according to Ford.

Ford updated its 2019 Transit Connect cargo and passenger variants with an embedded 4G LTE modem, standard automatic emergency braking, and other driver-assisting technology.

The company has begun to take orders for its 2020 Transit, which will now be available with all-wheel drive, updated engine lineup, and new 10-speed transmission.

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