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Van-Based Businesses Turn to Ford Transit

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Ford Transit helps van-based businesses like POPCycle (1)
Jeff Dimitry of PopCycles repairs a bike in the back of a Ford Transit
Photo: Ford Motor Company

It’s a high-demand, instant-gratification type of world, and small businesses and entrepreneurs are responding by thinking outside of conventional models. One way that businesses are reaching customers is through mobile commerce, packing goods up into vehicles and taking them on the road, going to where people will buy what they’re selling. For this unique approach, the Ford Transit has emerged as the go-to for van-based businesses and mobile alternatives to the traditional storefront.

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise: Ford has been America’s top brand van for the past 40 years, and its Transit has been key to that success. The Transit has maintained its status as a leader in 2019, with sales up 1.9 percent year-over-year and up 5.3 percent year-over-year with fleets of one to five vehicles.

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The rise of mobile operations and van-based businesses has put Ford and the Transit at the fore of yet another wave of innovation. Tiffany Chang, Ford Transit marketing manager, says that Ford has been watching the segment of business owners opting for mobile options over conventional brick-and-mortar storefronts and adapting to those needs over time.

“This segment is where customers hustle and where entrepreneurs are most creative,” said Chang.

An example of creativity is Denise West and Jeff Dimitry, the co-owners of Sarasota-based bike and bike repair shop PopCycles. The new Ford Transit’s spacious proportions make it easier for the latter to slide in and out, and it also leaves plenty of space in the back for Dimitry to carry out repairs on-site for customers.  

“A lot of our customers can’t bring a bicycle in or just appreciate the convenience of service and sales at home,” said West. “Having a van lets us take care of our customers better. Plus, because of the big ad space it offers we reach new people when we’re on a run. A neighbor sees the van and calls us to schedule service of their own.”

According to a study from the Out Of Home Advertising Association of America, nearly two thirds of Americans 16 years and older have noticed wrapped vehicle ads over the course of a month, making mobile solutions even more viable.

With built-in FordPass Connect 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, standard Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, and available all-wheel drive, the upcoming 2020 Transit promises to extend Ford’s popularity among small-business owners and entrepreneurs well into the future.

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