When Daimler started selling its Sprinter van in North America – first as a Freightliner, then as a Mercedes-Benz and even a Dodge – it found companies on this side of the Atlantic were as keen to get their hands on a European-style van as, well, European companies are. But the Sprinter is about to get some European competition from... an American automaker.
That Ford makes certain products for overseas markets is nothing new, but as part of its drive to standardize its lineup around the world, the Blue Oval automaker is apparently planning on bringing its full-size Transit van Stateside.
Not only is it bringing the Transit to the American market, but it will also be building it here, too. The news is confirmed by a recent United Auto Workers announcement that reveals that, with production of the next-generation Escape moving to Louisville, Kentucky, the Transit will be assembled for local consumption alongside the F-150 pickup truck at the Kansas City plant.
According to Car and Driver sources, in order to avoid confusion with the smaller Transit Connect, the big van will be badged as a T-Series in this market, with nameplates like T-250, T-450 and T-550 – similar to the F-Series trucks, and more pertinently, the E-Series vans that used to be known as the Econoline. They can call it whatever they want; we just hope we get a version of the UK-market limited-edition SportVan pictured above.