Vans are the lifeblood of the inner city, plying businesses and customers with goods and services that keep the heart of the city beating. And this is where, for more than 54 years, the Ford Transit has earned its stripes as hard working, reliable partner for thousands of operators worldwide.
Globally, the Transit’s reputation for getting the job done has been forged since its introduction to the market in 1965. And while there are competitors in the market, Ford’s global Transit platform dominates in terms of volume worldwide. With a trusted nameplate and years of market penetration in the US, UK, Asia, Australasia and Europe, the Transit has become one of the most important vehicles for Ford’s fleet business around the world.
In the Middle East, the Transit is also enjoying a tremendous growth period since its introduction three years ago.
“Much of the success of the Transit simply comes down to delivering a product that the customer wants,” said Mahendra Menon, Regional Manager Commercial Vehicles, Ford Middle East and Africa. “Relying on reputation is not enough – and it hasn’t been easy establishing a foothold in the region where clients have long-term buying habits. But we’ve listened to customers and brought a product to market that has been designed, tested and refined for our customers.”
This approach has seen impressive results since its introduction to the region in 2016. This year, Ford has secured significant orders with DHL in Oman and the UAE – and has seen a huge upswing in interest from SMEs like home check-in service DUBZ, and delivery giants UPS and Amazon. Ford has also seen a lot of interest from the travel and leisure industry for the Tourneo Custom – the Transit’s passenger-van version – for shuttle services.
“Long-term cost of ownership, fuel efficiency and sheer capability is where the Transit is winning. Our engineers at Ford know that the Transit needs to be highly capable and easy to modify, and because of the work they continue to put in, we’re seeing a lot of firms turn to the Transit to gain a competitive edge over their rivals,” Menon said.
“Clients are no longer swayed simply by a low upfront unit price. Ford Protect for Commercial Vehicles has helped simplify a lot of the concerns new customers have over the total cost of ownership. Ford Protect means customers can tailor their servicing packages to suit their needs, covering routine maintenance and parts for up to eight years. These things are important, and this is where we’ve focused a lot of our attention with our partners because that’s what matters to the customer – that bottom line.”
Working with new partners has opened up new avenues for the Transit in the Middle East. In June, Cairo-based mobility firm SWVL inked a MoU with Ford to help operators fund and run brand new Transit buses on its routes earlier this year.
SWVL’s app-based services allows commuters to book fixed rate, affordable rides on the company’s existing routes. Thousands of people use the service every day, and SWVL was keen to elevate the customer experience with a van that offered a comfortable ride while also making commercial sense for its operators. The Transit deal – complete with favourable loan rates through Nasser Social Bank and EFG Hermes Bank – will see an initial tranche of 100 buses hit the streets of Cairo and Alexandria, with more to follow as demand dictates.
“We are thrilled to bring Ford Transit to Egypt, debuting in such a prominent and important role through this partnership with SWVL,” said Achraf El Boustani, Managing Director of Ford North Africa. “The key to Ford Transit’s success as a mobility platform is its reputation for dependability, versatility and capability, and we’re confident that SWVL operators here will soon learn just why thousands of people around the world rely on the Ford Transit to get the job done.”
The success of the deal will also see the Transit cargo van launch into Egypt later this year through Ford’s local distributor Auto Jameel which is also supporting the SWVL operation with after-sales support and maintenance services through its dealer network and team of
What is Ford doing to help businesses in the region? Find out more in the August issue of Truck & Fleet Middle East.