Best Buy is looking to save a few bucks on fuel while adding functionality to its Geek Squad fleet, so the big box store is looking to Ford Motor Company's commercial vans to for an answer. The ubiquitous electronics and entertainment store is replacing some of its larger cargo vans with a fleet of 290 fuel-thrifty Transit Connects.

Best Buy will hand over the Transit Connect vans to GS employees responsible for delivering, installing and servicing home appliances. The Transit Connect definitely fits in with the unique look of the typical Geek Squad mobile, and the van's side access panels will give technicians easier access to tools and diagnostic equipment.

The still new Transit Connect gets top billing here, but the bulk of Best Buy's fleet purchase goes to the tried and true E-Series vans with a sizable order of 738 vehicles. Best Buy Fleet Manager Jason Pucely says the Ford cargo vans have smaller, more efficient engines than the vehicles they will replace, saving the global retail outlet a significant chunk of change.

[Source: Ford]
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* The Ford Transit Connect and Ford E-Series vans are joining Geek Squad as part of Best Buy's ongoing efforts to build a more fuel-efficient fleet
* 290 Ford Transit Connect compact utility vans will be used instead of larger cargo vans by Geek Squad technicians who service home appliances
* Best Buy also is taking delivery of 738 Ford E-Series vans, which will be used by Geek Squad technicians who install and service home theater equipment; the E-Series vans have smaller displacement engines, which provide better fuel economy than their current vans with larger engines



The Ford Transit Connect and Ford E-Series vans are joining Geek Squad
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DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 26, 2010 – The Ford Transit Connect and Ford E-Series van are joining Geek Squad as part of Best Buy's continuing efforts to build a more fuel-efficient fleet and streamlined transportation system.

Best Buy® – an international leader in consumer electronics and entertainment – will soon take delivery of 290 Ford Transit Connect compact utility vans and 738 Ford E-Series vans. The Transit Connects will be used instead of larger cargo vans by Geek Squad technicians who deliver, install and service home appliances. The E-Series vans will be used by those who install and service home theater equipment.

"We appreciate Best Buy's business and confidence in our commercial van lineup," said Len Deluca, director, Ford Commercial Truck Sales and Marketing. "The combination of Transit Connect and E-Series provides a wide range of utilization that will help Best Buy meet its customers' needs."

Ford Transit Connect provides utility and fuel efficiency
According to Jason Pucely, senior manager, Best Buy Fleet Operations, the selection of the Ford Transit Connect was dictated in many ways by the company's new operating model, which drives to deliver superior client service through more efficient scheduling, inventory management and transportation systems.

"We're streamlining all of our activities," he explained. "We've developed a more effective routing system, and we're more efficient with the tools and parts we carry when we do our work. That has enabled us to put the same technician doing the same work in a smaller, lighter vehicle."

Pucely says the Ford Transit Connect offers the functionality Geek Squad technicians require to get their work done, while not compromising on some of the space requirements that a full-size cargo van offers.

In addition to the cost and environmental benefits, Pucely foresees other advantages.

"Our technicians typically carry diagnostic equipment, motors and other electronic parts, so having the side access panels will make it easier for them to get to the equipment they need,"
he said.

The unique appearance of the Ford Transit Connect promises to be an added bonus, says Pucely.

"A distinctive vehicle has been part of the history of Geek Squad in the marketplace," he said. "We value our fleet as a tool to enhance our brand messaging, and the Transit Connect will certainly help in that effort."

All of the vehicles will carry the familiar Geek Squad branding – black-and-white with the orange-and-black Geek Squad logo.

Ford E-Series vans provide functionality and improved fuel efficiency for larger jobs
While Ford Transit Connect provides an ideal solution for Geek Squad technicians who service home appliances, a full-size cargo van is essential for those who install and service home theater equipment. With fuel efficiency a priority, Best Buy opted to purchase 738 Ford E-Series vans with smaller – 4.6-liter – displacement V8 engines that provide better fuel economy than its current vans with larger engines.

"Home theater equipment is large, and it requires the space of a full-size van," said Pucely. "But our technicians can do the same amount of work using a vehicle with a smaller engine, which is less expensive to run and burns less fuel."

Ford Motor Company and Best Buy: Teaming up in other ways
Ford recently teamed up with Best Buy to ensure consumers have a great experience learning about and using Ford industry-leading SYNC® system. Best Buy Mobile offers thousands of specially trained associates to assist with Ford SYNC mobile device/phone compatibility and basic feature setup, and SYNC training for consumers.

Best Buy also includes Ford SYNC mobile device/phone compatibility results in its monthly Best Buy Mobile Buyer's Guide to identify which of the latest mobile devices work seamlessly with Ford SYNC. The ratings are based on phone compatibility tests conducted by Best Buy's Geek Squad and are updated frequently. The SYNC ratings also can be found at www.syncmyride.com.

In addition, Best Buy is the primary sponsor of the No. 43 Best Buy/Insignia Ford Fusion of Richard Petty Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. The Fusion is driven by A.J. Allmendinger. In August, Best Buy and Ford will launch a national sweepstakes focused around the all-new 2011 Ford Fiesta, the Insignia television brand, Richard Petty, Allmendinger and Ford's Rally America and X Games Fiesta driver Ken Block.