Unique Ford Transit Connect Turns Heads At Dream Cruise, Helps Local Business Generate Sales

Custom-designed by Marygrove Awnings, the Transit Connect serves as a mobile showroom for the company

  • A unique-looking Ford Transit Connect drew a lot of attention on the street at last weekend’s Woodward Dream Cruise
  • Custom-designed by Marygrove Awnings, the Transit Connect serves as a mobile showroom for the company – complete with colorful, striped roof-mounted functioning manual and motorized awnings – that extend out from the vehicle on both sides
  • Marygrove Awnings says its business has grown 15 percent since the Transit Connect was purchased in March

DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 25, 2010 – If you were cruising up and down Woodward Avenue during last week’s Dream Cruise, chances are you did a double-take at Marygrove Awnings’ Ford Transit Connect.

No, that was not a misprint. It’s true.

Among the tens of thousands of spiffed-up new and classic cars garnering oohs and aahs from the crowd at one of the largest automotive events in the world was a rather unique-looking Ford Transit Connect wrapped from front to back with Marygrove’s distinctive logo and sporting colorful, striped roof-mounted awnings that extended out from the vehicle on both sides.

Mike Falahee, owner of Marygrove Awnings, says the cruise down Woodward Avenue generated a lot of interest in the Transit Connect – and in his company.

“It’s amazing how much attention it gets. People were coming up just to see the vehicle,” he said. “But they weren’t just looking at the Transit Connect, they were inquiring about our products as well.”

The Marygrove Awnings Transit Connect was custom designed to be a mobile showroom for the Livonia, Mich.-based business, which is one of the largest retractable awning companies in the country. Falahee says the vehicle has helped improve sales by 15 percent since its purchase in March.
“The vehicle is paying for itself time and time again,” he said. “And the reason is because customers can touch and feel the product and see how it works. You can’t do that if a guy walks into your home or business with a catalog.”

The roof-mounted awnings actually demonstrate the product. One side shows the manual operation of the awning, and the other side shows the motorized function.

“What’s nice about having the display up on the roof of the Transit Connect is that it gives enough height so that our customers can get underneath the awning and really feel the comfort of the awning when it is projected,” said Falahee.

“And by taking the Transit Connect to a customer’s home, we can actually place the awning in the same direction of their patio. If they have a western exposure, for example, the Transit Connect is so maneuverable we can easily turn the vehicle sideways so that they can get a feel for the element of shade at a particular time of day,” he said.

Marygrove Awnings conducts business in Southeastern Michigan, Texas and Ohio. Currently, the company has two Transit Connect sales vehicles – one in Michigan and one in Texas.

“Our vehicle in Texas has even more bells and whistles, including an onboard computer,” said Falahee, referring to Ford Work Solutions™, an in-dash computer that allows employees to access appointment scheduling and billing information online. “We also installed a slide-out 30-inch flat screen television inside one of the doors so that we can show videos of various awning applications. It’s ideal for home and garden shows.”

Falahee says the company recently purchased two more Transit Connects.
“It’s been an extremely great product for us,” he said. “We’re very happy with it.”

According to Len Deluca, director, Ford Commercial Vehicles, Marygrove Awnings’ experience with the Transit Connect shows what businesses can accomplish with creativity and imagination.

“The Marygrove Transit Connect is not only cool, but it is another example of the vehicle’s versatility to meet the needs of our commercial customers,” he said.

For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.

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