For many years, the US market tended to favour power over fuel consumption and muscle over practicality. A plentiful supply of fuel and wide open roads meant that the constraints of the European market did not transfer across the Atlantic.
However, with the improved communication and connectivity now available, the world has, in many ways, become a smaller place, while the importance of reducing tailpipe emissions has emerged as a truly global issue. Such factors have had an effect not just on what OEMs provide to the North American market but have also helped to alter what the average US citizen wants in a vehicle.
Ford's commercial vehicle line director Pete Reyes says: “There are a couple of key differences between the European and North American markets, but they still point to the same solution. Both are very sensitive to the cost of operations and efficiencies – the vehicle that moves the most cubes for the least amount of fuel wins in either market.
“What is different is that in the UK and Europe there is a load limit, with tax or licensing on anything over 3.5 tonnes, and a lot of the platform and powertrains are designed for that. In the US, there is no limit and they will just load a vehicle to as big as the volume will allow.”
Today, many of the vehicles liked in Europe are popular in the States too. That was one of the reasons why Ford took the decision to introduce its iconic Transit commercial vehicle to the North American market. It replaced the successful Econoline brand. The individual ultimately responsible for overseeing the latest Transit's success, in the US and elsewhere, is Reyes.
|tags:||September 2015 Ford Commercial Vehicles|