Reflections on Ford Motor Company's Founder Henry

Ford family members share their thoughts on the life and legacy of company founder Henry Ford on the 150th anniversary of his birth.

Ford F-150 to Offer Ability to Run on Compressed Natural Gas; Sales of Ford CNG-Prepped Vehicles Continue Growth

  • 2014 Ford F-150 will offer a gaseous-fuel prep option on the 3.7-liter V6 engine; it will be able to run on compressed natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas
  • With the addition of F-150, Ford will have eight vehicles available to run on clean-burning, inexpensive CNG/LPG. Sales continue to grow rapidly, with Ford expecting to sell more than 15,000 CNG/LPG-prepped vehicles this year
  • Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifiers offer a wide variety of CNG options to help customers find the best, most cost-effective solution to their diverse operating needs

DEARBORN, Mich., July 31, 2013 – Ford, America’s truck leader, will offer the 2014 F-150 with the ability to run on compressed natural gas, making Ford the only manufacturer with an available CNG/LPG-capable half-ton pickup.
The 2014 Ford F-150 with 3.7-liter V6 engine will be available this fall with a factory-installed, gaseous-fuel prep package that includes hardened valves, valve seats, pistons and rings so it can operate on either natural gas or gasoline through separate fuel systems.
When the 3.7-liter V6 F-150 is equipped with a CNG/LPG engine package, it is capable of achieving more than 750 miles on one tank of gas, depending on the tank size selected. The Ford F-150 averages 23 mpg on the highway.
“Businesses and fleet customers have been asking Ford to make F-150 available with CNG capability to take advantage of the fuel’s low price and clean emissions,” said Jon Coleman, Ford fleet sustainability and technology manager. “With the money saved using CNG, customers could start to see payback on their investment in as little as 24 to 36 months.”
CNG/LPG engine prep from the factory costs approximately $315 before the customer chooses a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier to supply fuel tanks, fuel lines and unique fuel injectors. Upfits run approximately $7,500 to $9,500 depending on fuel tank capacity.
CNG conversions can provide stability against fluctuating fuel prices as well as lower vehicle operating costs for fleet administrators. CNG sells for an average of $2.11 per gallon of gasoline equivalent, and is as low as $1 in some parts of the country, representing a significant savings over unleaded regular fuel. The national average for unleaded regular fuel is $3.66 per gallon.
In the next year, Ford will offer eight commercial vehicles with a gaseous-prep option, a number no other full-line manufacturer can match:
  • Transit Connect van and wagon
  • Transit van, wagon, cutaway and chassis cab
  • E-Series van, wagon, cutaway and stripped chassis
  • F-Series Super Duty pickup and F-350 chassis cab
  • F-Series Super Duty chassis cab (F-450, F-550)
  • F-650 medium-duty truck
  • F53 and F59 stripped chassis
  • 2014 F-150 light-duty pickup

Customers are enthusiastically responding to this powerful array of choices. Since reintroducing the option in 2009, Ford has established itself as the leader in CNG/LPG engine sales. Ford is on pace to sell more than 15,000 CNG/LPG-prepped vehicles this year, an increase of more than 25 percent from 2012.
AT&T is one of many Ford customers that are finding value in CNG. The communications giant recently purchased 650 F-350 chassis cabs with the CNG-prep option.
“We’re almost halfway to our company-wide goal of deploying 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles by the end of year 2018,” said Jerome Webber, AT&T vice president, global fleet operations. “Vehicles such as CNG F-350s from Ford have helped us avoid purchasing 7.7 million gallons of gasoline over the past five years while reducing our fleet’s emissions.”
Qualified Vehicle Modifiers
Ford has established a rigorous qualification program for alternative-fuel vehicle modifiers. The QVM program is intended to help modifiers achieve greater levels of customer satisfaction and product acceptance through the manufacture of high-quality vehicles.
QVMs offer a wide variety of CNG/LPG options to help customers find the best, most cost-effective solution to their diverse operating needs. Ford maintains the engine and powertrain limited warranty (five years or 60,000 miles); the modifier is responsible for the system component warranty.
Compressed natural gas
Compressed natural gas is mainly composed of methane. It is stored and distributed in hard containers at a pressure of approximately 3,600 psi. About 85 percent of the CNG used in the United States is produced domestically.
Another benefit of this alternative fuel: Cleaner emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certifies CNG usage can result in up to 30 percent less greenhouse gas emissions.


2014 Ford E-Series Highlights

The Ford E-Series – America’s best-selling van for more than 30 years – has been synonymous with work vans since the model’s introduction in 1961. Smart technology updates help E-Series operators master today’s mobile, 24/7 work environment. The robust E-Series chassis can tow up to a best-in-class 10,000 pounds when properly equipped, and payload tops out at 3,920 pounds. Three engine choices and three wheelbase options make it easy to match the new 2014 Ford E-Series to workplace demands.
At the same time, E-Series Wagon continues to offer transportation options for families and organizations with a lot of people to move, with seating for up to 15 passengers in extended versions.
E-Series highlights:
  • Class-exclusive connectivity of SYNC® system, which can integrate with smartphones and other devices using hands-free Bluetooth® technology for safer voice-based calling
  • Crew Chief telematics gives fleet managers real-time operating data
  • Instrument panel-mounted Navigation System with 6.5-inch touch-screen display
  • Standard audio input jack, for MP3 players
  • Seating for up to 15 passengers (E-350 Super Duty Extended)
  • Tow rating up to 10,000 pounds (E-350 Super Duty with 6.8-liter SOHC V10 engine)
  • Ford’s leading safety and security features, including:
    • AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control)
    • Driver and front passenger airbags
    • Side-intrusion door beams
    • Four-wheel Anti-Lock Braking System
    • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
    • Three-point seat belts for all seating positions


Ken Taylor & Associates Commercial Truck Training

Take a look at what it's like to attend Ken Taylor's Commercial Dealer Boot Camp! Commercial Truck Success has had several opportunities to work with Ken Taylor and we highly recommend his coaching programs. See more below.

Ken Taylor


Single Rear Wheel Welder Service Body On Black Crew Cab Loaded Chassis

This Super nice black beauty Ford Crew Cab uplevel truck is upfitted with a  beauty of a Harbor welders body.

How many welders do you see rolling around in rigs like this? Yet that's what this ends up being, or at least functioning with the custom space for the welder machine. Notice that it has a closed top on the streetside where the welder opening is and an open top lid on the curbside. This also has tie downs in the floor and a spray on bedliner to make it so durable.

Maybe Harbor could build you one too! Call us at 800-433-9452 and visit our website at http://www.htbi.net/.


Ford Transit Custom Sport Van & ECOnetic

For full details go to http://www.vansa2z.com/Transit-Custom....

With order books open for Sport Van and ECOnetic models, as well as the recently announced high roof variants, the Transit Custom line-up is now complete


Isuzu provides traction for tyre business

IAL - Isuzu Provides Traction For Tyre Business

Regardless of whether it’s day or night, Mitch’s Mobile Tyre Service’s fleet of Isuzu NPR 300s is always on call to help stranded customers.

Located in Gympie, Queensland, the tyre specialists come to the rescue when private or business customers are stranded or immobilised by a flat tyre.

Established in 2010, the company offers over 15 years’ collective automotive industry experience provided by its four employees, who include business owners and friends Lesley Mitchell and Ross Sims.

Business Partner, Mick Sims, said the NPR 300s have the power needed to get the job done with ease.

“These little rippers are the pick of the bunch. We have two in our fleet so far and we are currently having a third fitted out,” Mick said.

“Their power output (114 kW @ 2,600 RPM) is ideal for the large range of heavy tyre fitting equipment we carry; we’re equipped to change tyres on any vehicle, from light to heavy duty.”

The company services private, business and fleet customers who operate vehicles ranging from trucks and tractors to earthmoving equipment, forklifts and industrial vehicles.

The trucks are fully equipped and self-sufficient with on board power, air and the latest tyre fitting tools.

Designed by local bodybuilder, Tracwell, the bodies take up to four months to build, complete with tool boxes and compartments to hold all the equipment needed to fit a tyre at any location.

The working equipment includes 100 CFM rotary screw compressors, hydraulic bead breakers, heavy duty hydraulic jacking equipment, tailgate lifters and safety lighting for night work.

As part of the service, the team can fit and balance replacement tyres on the roadside so stranded customers don’t need to experience the inconvenience of having their vehicle towed away to a service centre.

With Mitch’s Mobile Tyre Service offering all the major tyre brands, Mick said the team could fix any tyre problem they come across quickly and efficiently.

According to Mick, the company is very happy with the performance and comfort of the Isuzu trucks.

“The NPR 300s drive very easily and smoothly on highways,” Mick said.

“The roomy cabs are also great for extra storage.

“We chose the NPR 300s because they are smart looking trucks with a great reputation. We definitely made the right choice.”



Mercedes-Benz Van Experience 2013

For the full story go to http://www.vansa2z.com/Merc-Van-Exper....

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, this year's Mercedes-Benz Van Experience delivered the goods, once again. Visitors numbered in excess of 1,800 over the two weeks and they were given the chance to sample the entire Merc van range from behind the wheel; including wet-grip surface driving (Continental Tyres) and a demonstration of ESP in action (Bosch).


Knapheide Product Line Expands With Van Equipment For Nissan NV200

The compact commercial van market has continued to expand and mature in the United States.  The Knapheide Manufacturing Company has released a vast line-up of van equipment for the recently launched Nissan NV200.  The available van equipment, developed by Sortimo, is packed with features geared towards improving the end user’s productivity, efficiency, and safety both on and off the jobsite.

Compatible equipment includes the flexible Globelyst and cutting edge Simpleco interior organizational systems from Sortimo. To provide users with safety, Knapheide has engineered a lightweight thermoformed van partition.  The partition increases protection from shifting cargo in the event of a collision or hard stop.  Complimentary products to the organizational systems and partition include wall cladding, vocational accessories, and cargo management accessories. The innovative double floor option, which utilizes a “sub-floor” with pull out drawers underneath, creates additional storage space within the cargo area of the NV200.

The release of these products for the Nissan NV200 solidifies Knapheide’s commitment to be the leading provider of commercial vehicle solutions in North America.  To get more information on van equipment for the Nissan NV200 or any other Knapheide products, visit www.knapheide.com


Landfills Convert Biogas Into Renewable Natural Gas

Find out how thousands of U.S. landfills are converting organic waste into clean natural gas for electricity, heat, or transportation fuel. www.motorweek.org

We think this is some pretty exciting news! - CTS


Genesis by Torklift

The Torklift Genesis moves side-to-side allowing your accessories to be mounted where you need them. It also has an elbow that gives you a full range of motion so you can open your tailgate and tow without ever having to disconnect your accessory or your trailer.

We made it fit into the top receiver, that way you can still tow with the bottom receiver. The Genesis utilizes our Hero APPS (Applications). The Lock and Load is our first Hero APP that was created for the Genesis. It is a cargo tray that holds generators, tool boxes, welders and more under lock and key.

The Genesis is currently in production and will be coming out in September.


Ram Truck Begins ProMaster Van Production

Ram this week celebrated the start of production of its new 2014 ProMaster van at the company’s Saltillo Van Assembly Plant in Coahuilla, Mexico.

The new 2014 Ram ProMaster is Ram Commercial’s latest addition to its popular vehicle lineup. ProMaster takes its place in the expanding, purpose-built, full-size van segment with a number of best-in-class features focused on the commercial customer. Coming from a strong background of commercial vehicles produced by Fiat Professional, the ProMaster is based on the Fiat Ducato, which has been in production for more than 30 years.


Ford Transit SuperVan 3 Roars Up Goodwood Hillclimb

Touring car ace and GT driver Anthony Reid drives the Ford Transit
up the hill at Festival of Speed. http://bit.ly/GoodwoodTV
BRENTWOOD, Essex, July 15, 2013 – Ford’s famous Transit SuperVan 3 turned heads on Goodwood Hill last weekend, driven by former Ford racing driver Anthony Reid.

Ford SuperVan 3 – a one-off replica 1994 Ford Transit – was developed in the UK more than 20 years ago. It has a top speed of 150mph and is powered by a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 Ford Cosworth engine, which produces 295bhp.

Anthony Reid, a former driver for Ford Team Mondeo in the BTCC, finishing in 2nd place with 193 points in 2000. He said: “Over the last 20 years of racing cars, Ford’s SuperVan 3 is by far the craziest vehicle I have ever driven. It’s ludicrously loud, incredibly quick and received masses of attention from the Goodwood crowd.”

The Supervan family raiseed the profile of Ford's famous Transit range yet further.  Supervan 3 is a much-developed version of Supervan 2, the Transit-like body hiding a mid-engined Ford C100 racing chassis.  Although it looks like a load-carrying vehicle, there is absolutely no space for a payload, as the engine and transmission are mounted behind the cabin.  The all-independent suspension and vast racing tyres are out-and-out race car specification, though the driving position is that of a van.

When first built as Supervan 2 in 1984, it was powered by a Ford-Cosworth DFL engine – the long-stroke endurance version of Ford's famous DFV F1 engine.  When the van was re-furbished in 1994 this original power unit was swapped for a 650bhp 3.5-litre Cosworth-developed Ford HB engine.   A few years later it was decided to fit a less powerful Ford-Cosworth Pro Sports 3000 engine, enabling more people to have the opportunity to drive this unique vehicle.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 172,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.co.uk

If you have any further enquiries or require publication-quality, downloadable photographs on Ford Motor Company products or services, visit our dedicated media website www.media.ford.com or contact our press office.


New Powder Coated Load'N'Go® Service Bodies

Tempe, AZ - Fleetwest Transferable Truck Bodies, Announcing a quality upgrade for the Load’N’Go® brand of Fleetwest Transferable Truck Bodies. The Load’N’Go® Open-bed, Security-Top, PowerBody, and TSS service bodies will now feature a powder coated finish. Fleetwest service bodies are durable and outlast multiple pickup trucks, as seen in the life-cycle comparison (www.Fleetwest.net). With the addition of powder coating, the quality and durability of Fleetwest Transferable Truck Bodies is unmatched.

What exactly is powder coating? It is a process where a mixture of finely ground particles of pigment and resin are electrostatically sprayed onto a surface to be coated and baked. The result is a uniform, durable, high quality finish. Powder coating is resistant to chipping, scratching, fading, and wearing. It provides excellent hardness and abrasion with impact resistance, making it a growing trend in the automotive industry. 
Load'N'Go ® Powder Coating Benefits:
  • Powder coating makes for a better overall aesthetic because there is consistent color and appearance of the service body.
  • You will also have weather protection because powder coating is corrosion resistant.
  • The process is protective of the environment because there are no volatile organic compounds (VOC) released.    
 "A leading fleet manager commented on the convenience of Load'N'Go® service bodies. The fleet manager saw an advantage to having a standardized fleet with service bodies that can move easily between trucks when their vehicles need services or repairs" Tom Endicott, Sales Manager. Fleetwest Transferable Truck Bodies are unique because they easily move from one pickup to another in minutes with no-holes-drilled installation. Adding a powder coated finish to Load'N'Go® service bodies further extends the life-cycle of a work truck.  

About Fleetwest
Fleetwest is a Tempe, Arizona based utility body distributor whose mission is to provide Slip-on Truck Bodies ™ to utility companies, municipalities, and contractors.  The company distributes Slip-on Truck Bodies™ all over the world and is the only company that specializes in both steel and fiberglass composite, fully transferable utility bodies, without drilling holes or removing the factory made truck bed.  More information and a price quote can be obtained by visiting the company’s web site at www.fleetwest.net.

Joe's moving 27 years with Isuzu

IAL - Joe 's Moving 27 Years With Isuzu Web

Joe Schubert loves Isuzu trucks – his use of Isuzus over almost three decades is testament to this with the relationship standing the test of time.

The New South Wales removalist fell into the work at the ripe age of 15, often helping out in his father’s furniture removal business by accompanying him on jobs after hours and on weekends.

Eventually, he began two of his own removalist operations and now employs 10 staff located at a depot in Matraville, in Sydney’s south.

Joe’s two companies, Always Moving and Bow Tie Removals, rely on six Isuzu trucks to provide a boutique removalist service for the Sydney metropolitan area.

According to Joe, it’s all about the experience and customer service a company provides that leads to success.

“Furniture removal is in my blood, I can’t even fathom doing anything else,” Joe said.

“I take pride in my trucks, I keep them clean and tidy and I’m confident they can handle any type of job that gets thrown at them.”

Joe’s current fleet comprises an FRR 600, NKR 200, NLR 200, NPR 200 and two NNR 200s.

In the past, he has had an Isuzu SBR 422 and SCR 420 which he only sold a couple of years ago. Both trucks did not disappoint during their run and Joe praises Isuzu’s reliability in both old and new models.

“I have been using Isuzu trucks since 1985 when I bought my first Isuzu SBR 422. It was so resilient that I never had to change the brakes even though it clocked over 200,000 kilometres,” Joe said.

“I try and acquire a combination of new and second-hand Isuzus as I know I can trust them, no matter how old the truck is.”

Joe’s fleet is fitted with custom-built furniture van bodies which are specially designed to access difficult areas including low clearances, tight narrow laneways and sharp tight turns in small streets.

The bodies feature ramps and side doors for easy access as well as timber floors and carpet walls to protect the furniture.

For loading heavier furniture, the NNR 200 and NLR 200 trucks are installed with a large full width walk up tailgate.

Joe said he likes Isuzus so much he won’t consider buying any other truck brand.

“Isuzu trucks have exactly what we need for our business as they can stand the wear and tear of transporting different types of furniture over a long period of time,” Joe said.

Both companies include services such as furniture protection, dismantling and assembly of furniture, insurance, furniture placement and packing materials.

For extra security, Joe uses a modular furniture moving and storage system where all customer goods are stored directly in the company’s warehouse facility and are never opened until the customer receives the goods at their new location.

The company prides itself in employing the latest technology to service customers in the most efficient way.

“As we control everything that comes into our facility, customers can safely know there are no corrosive chemicals, rodent attracting foodstuffs or prohibited items being stored next to their belongings.”

All vehicles are also equipped with satellite tracking so that the company knows where the truck and the customer’s belongings are 24-hours a day.

Joe has five drivers that work across both of his companies and happily drive the Isuzu trucks.

“I’ve been told the trucks are a joy to drive. The cabins are very popular and the drivers love the comfort that Isuzu offers,” he said.

“The fully integrated air conditioning and heater/demister with 4-speed fan has been ideal to combat all types of weather, all year round.”

According to Joe, when purchasing a truck, service and support play a large role.

“We have a long history with Isuzu and I look forward to continuing and strengthening that relationship,” Joe said.

“If my father had the option of buying an Isuzu truck for his business in the 60s, he would have definitely jumped on board.”



Van History | Chris Morrin Show #1

So much happened from the first van until now -- Let's go for a brief history of vans, explained by Chris Morrin.


Visit our Website:

Reading Launches Lighter Weight Aluminum Classic Service Van

Reading, PA (July 2, 2013) – Reading Truck Body, LLC announces the next-generation Classic Service Van, manufactured in Reading, PA.  Reading Truck Body collaborated with its distributors and key fleet accounts to meet the need for a light weight, corrosion resistant aluminum service body. The CSV57 and CSV75 are over 50 percent lighter than comparable steel bodies.

The new CSV features welded design construction and utilizes formidable aluminum alloy and extrusions throughout, including the load space floor. It is 210 pounds lighter than previous generations, allowing for greater payload capacity, improved fuel efficiency and less wear and tear on the chassis. This new aluminum construction will pass through Reading’s exclusive E-Coat and powder coat process, making it the longest lasting finish in the industry. This all adds up to a positive impact on the owner-operator’s bottom line.

The CSV continues to exhibit many unique Reading features such as a seamless wheelhouse panel, shuttle panel pass through, flush mount floor to threshold channel, Reading’s patented hidden hinge technology with recessed and concealed hardware, LED lighting and a standard ten year limited warranty. The CSV will have optional security systems available - the master locking system or the exclusive Reading Latch-Matic® system. The body was designed with a universal understructure for GM and Ford cutaway chassis applications, which streamlines the manufacturing process, allows for shorter lead times and drives simplified inventory levels for the distributor. The next generation Aluminum CSV57 & CSV75 will be available with many optional value-added packages for specialized vocational markets.  

About The Reading Group
The Reading Group was originally founded as Reading Body Works in 1955. The Reading Group owns Reading Truck Body, LLC which has a manufacturing plant in Reading, PA, with 8 additional company-owned installation facilities operating as Reading Equipment & Distribution, LLC. Reading Equipment & Distribution specializes in dealer sales, custom product sales and installations, with a large focus on utility applications and alternative fuel conversions. 

For more information on Reading Truck Body, LLC and its products please visit www.ReadingBody.com.


Isuzu Truck Becomes Tool Showroom On Wheels

IAL - Showroom On Wheels

A Snap-on Tools Mobile Store is not just a technician’s toyshop, it’s a genuine showroom on wheels.

Mounted on various vehicles including Isuzu trucks, the mobile stores carry Snap-on’s vast range of products and tools needed by professional users for servicing, maintaining and repairing almost all aspects of automotive, plant, industrial and aviation equipment.

More than 160 franchisees service their designated territories throughout Australia and New Zealand with custom fitted out mobile stores purchased from Snap-on Tools Australia.

The company was founded back in 1920 in Wisconsin, USA by Joe Johnson who came up with the idea of a highly versatile tool system based around the concept of an interchangeable socket – a snap-on solution.

Snap-on Tools has been operating in Australia and New Zealand for over 25 years and worldwide for more than 90 years with more than over 4,500 franchisees.

The Australian head office is located in Arndell Park, New South Wales and is operated by a team of 120 support staff with 30 per cent working in the field. Staff assist the Snap-on franchisees with all aspects of their business management and customer support including product supply, marketing and monthly promotions, IT support, Trade Card finance, diagnostic helpdesk, the service repair and calibration of Snap-on products.

Product Manager – Australia and New Zealand, Ian Spinks, said Isuzu trucks were ideal for Snap-on Tools’ custom made bodies.

“We chose Isuzu as one of the truck options for our franchisees as we want them to operate in a comfortable and productive environment,” Ian said.

“Our franchisees sell large amounts of stock and we look for a truck model that can handle the weight of the store without impending on the drivability of the vehicle.

 “The FRR 500 model is perfect for our needs and its engine (SITEC Series III 205) has not let us down, especially with its power output (151 kW @ 2,600 RPM).

“We recently purchased six new FRR 500s for our franchisees and they couldn’t be happier.”

The truck bodies are built by Empire Specialty Vehicles located in Leichhardt, New South Wales, with a standard outfit taking four weeks to build.

In order to meet the demands of the franchisees, the trucks need to have many added features such as holding shelves, air conditioning, lighting, electronic generator, display cases, sales aids and a multi-media system including TV.

The franchisee’s computer also has wireless internet to provide up-to-date product information to customers as well as maintaining their inventory management, point of sale and stock ordering systems.

According to Ian, the main aim is to provide a mobile retail environment where they can professionally display their vast product range in an efficient and informative manner. Customers can come in and view products at ease when their franchisee makes the weekly call into their workshop.

“Every inch of space is utilized to hold Snap-on Tool’s product range,” Ian said.

“We have a trusted brand – right tools for the right job and of course, the right truck.”

The truck body also has a lift gate for heavy lifting of larger items like tool storage cabinets. Other safety features include devices like an alarm system and reversing cameras for getting in and out of tight industrial sites and factories.

The performance and comfort of the Isuzu FRR 500 have been a hit, according to Ian.

“The franchisees love to drive the FRR 500 because of its easy maneuverability and the comfort provided by the Isri air suspension driver’s seat,” Ian said.

“Isuzu’s quality is evident in the fit, feel and finish of the truck.”

Snap-on Tools predicts continuous strong market share growth, and expects to acquire additional Isuzu trucks as more franchisees come on board and existing franchisees renew their current vehicles.




Delivery of Student Transportation of America’s propane-fueled school bus stops in Nashville and St. Louis to build awareness of American-made alternative fuel

FORT VALLEY, GA. (July 10, 2013) — Blue Bird, the leading provider of propane autogas powered school buses, and ROUSH CleanTech, the leading provider of propane autogas fuel systems, will launch the Propane Road Tour tomorrow. The single-bus tour will stop at iconic American landmarks on its way to deliver the last bus from the largest single order of 434 propane-fueled buses to Student Transportation of America’s (STA) new terminal in Omaha, Neb. STA is a subsidiary of Student Transportation Inc. (TSX: STB) (Nasdaq: STB). The Propane Road Tour will raise awareness of propane autogas as a clean, safe and efficient alternative fuel for school bus use that is more cost-effective to operate than diesel.  

“The purpose of the Propane Road Tour is to provide the opportunity for school districts and communities to learn about the outstanding benefits of using propane autogas,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “Communities along the tour route, from Georgia to Omaha, have an opportunity to talk with key industry representatives about the economic, safety and environmental benefits of propane-powered school buses. This bus tour also showcases STA’s commitment to becoming a frontrunner in creating a cleaner environment for the Omaha and Millard Public School Districts that the buses will serve.”

The bus tour begins at Blue Bird’s headquarters in Fort Valley, Ga., on Thursday, July 11, and ends in Omaha on July 17, with multiple stops in Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri. Press events will be held in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland Resort on Friday, July 12 at 10 a.m., with guest speaker Atha Comiskey, executive director of Middle Tennessee Clean Fuels, and in St. Louis at the Old Courthouse on Saturday, July 13 at 2 p.m. with guest speaker Steve Ahrens, executive director of Missouri Propane Gas Association. John Roselli, director of alternative fuel sales for Blue Bird, will be speaking and available for interviews at both events. For a full tour schedule, please visit www.propaneroadtour.com.

“Domestically produced, clean-burning propane autogas is a perfect fit for school fleets,” said Denis J. Gallagher, chairman and CEO of Student Transportation Inc. “This large deployment is the catalyst that alternative fuels need to become a viable and reliable fuel source for school transportation. We welcome the opportunity to showcase Omaha to the country as a model community in which private enterprise and public education can partner to create a world-class transportation system. We want school districts around the country to see there is a better way to transport children to school with school buses that are better for the environment, and our contracted transportation model, which lowers their cost of operations and allows educators to focus on education.”

Built on a Blue Bird chassis and powered by a Ford 6.8-liter V-10 engine with the ROUSH CleanTech dedicated propane autogas fuel system, the Type C school bus offers 362 horsepower, 457 pounds of torque, and fuel cost savings of 40 to 50 percent compared to diesel counterparts. Propane autogas burns cleaner in engines than gasoline or diesel, which results in less engine wear and tear, and reduced maintenance costs.

“As the leading alternative fuel system engineering company, ROUSH CleanTech is proud to partner with Blue Bird on this groundbreaking school bus order from STA,” said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech. “With more alternative fuel buses on our nation’s roads than any other manufacturer, Blue Bird is proving that propane autogas is an ideal and viable option for school districts to reduce their fuel and maintenance costs while lowering emissions.”

Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision school buses reduce carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and total hydrocarbon emissions, and virtually eliminate particulate matter, when compared to conventionally fueled school buses. Noise levels on the bus are decreased by as much as 50 percent when compared to diesel counterparts, making it easier to hear the children on board. Since more than 90 percent of U.S. propane supplies are produced domestically, propane autogas reduces our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

Along the route, the bus will refuel at existing public propane autogas fuel stations. With the largest refueling network of any alternative fuel, propane autogas is a solution for school districts across the country whether using public stations or installing private sites to refuel their fleet vehicles.

In addition to meeting stringent Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board certification standards, the Type C Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision provides best-in-class serviceability, extensive optional equipment choices, and seating for up to 78 passengers.

About Blue Bird:
     Blue Bird offers a complete line of Type A, C and D school buses in a variety of options and configurations. For more than 85 years, Blue Bird Corporation has continued to set industry standards with its innovative design and manufacturing capabilities. Additionally, Blue Bird provides comprehensive financial solutions through Blue Bird Capital Services. Today, Blue Bird has more than 1,500 employees, Georgia-based manufacturing facilities and an extensive network of Dealers, service and parts facilities throughout North America. Its global presence can be seen in more than 60 countries through sales into Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit the Blue Bird Corporation web site at

About ROUSH CleanTech:
ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of alternative fuel vehicle technology, is a division of ROUSH Enterprises based in Livonia, Mich. ROUSH CleanTech designs, engineers, manufactures and installs propane autogas fuel system technology for light- and medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles, and Type A and Type C Blue Bird school buses. As a Ford QVM-certified alternative fuel vehicle manufacturer, ROUSH CleanTech delivers economical, clean and domestically produced fueling options for fleets across the country. Learn more at 
ROUSHcleantech.com or by calling 800.59.ROUSH. 

About STA:
Founded in 1997, Student Transportation Inc. is North America’s third-largest and most progressive provider of school bus transportation services, operating more than 9,500 vehicles. Student Transportation’s family of local companies delivers safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation solutions to school districts throughout the U.S. and Canada. Services are delivered by drivers, dispatchers, maintenance technicians, terminal managers and others who are caring members of their local communities. For more information, please visit


Hackney Service Vehicles & Shelving

A good video describing VT Hackney Service Vehicles & Shelving. See more about this company and their products at www.vthackney.com, and see more about the Service Vehicles & Shelving at http://www.hackneyservice.com/


Vauxhall Interview 2013 - Steve Bryant

VansA2Z editor Neil McIntee talks to Vauxhall Commercial Vehicles Brand Manager Steve Bryant about Combo Crew Van and the expansion of the recognised converters programme. www.vansa2z.com


Ford F-250/350 Trucks with Westport WiNG™ Power System Now Available for Service Body Upfits

VANCOUVER, BC – Westport Innovations Inc. (TSX:WPT / NASDAQ:WPRT), the global leader in natural gas engines, and Knapheide Manufacturing Company, the leading full-service commercial vehicle body manufacturer, today announced an agreement that will set a new standard in the delivery of natural gas work-ready vehicle solutions. The two market leaders are combining their expertise to engineer custom vehicle bodies for the Westport-powered Ford F-250 and F-350 bi-fuel Super Duty trucks with box-deletes.

The Westport READY-link™ process, the first of its kind, is a unique mounting process designed specifically to allow the installation of custom Knapheide service bodies over the Westport WiNG™ Power System. Created with fleet customers in mind, Westport READY-link, together with the Westport WiNG Power System, offers cost savings for customers through the use of Ford's single-ship-through delivery system and the convenience of a single dealer contact.
"This is a breakthrough technology and design that will offer shorter upfit times and reliable deliveries to our customers," said John Howell, Senior Director, Marketing at Westport. "Our agreement with Knapheide and Ford allows fleets to add trucks that use a clean, domestic fuel while maintaining the safety and quality that our customers have come to expect. With all aspects of the final vehicle now under full warranty accountability, customers can have 'peace-of-mind.'"
Customers using Westport READY-link for their Ford F-250 or F-350 trucks can choose to upfit their trucks with the KNAP-Link 696-50J44-WCNG or Knap-Link 696-50FJ44-WCNG, Knapheide's most popular service bodies customized to fit the Westport WiNG Power System. The 600-series Knapheide service bodies offer rugged steel construction and external storage for tools and equipment. The external compartments provide protection from the outside elements and allow technicians to access their equipment without having to climb into the truck bed.
"With the KNAP-Link™ designed service bodies, we can utilize our extensive distributor network to bring quality upfits to our customers and integrate with the Westport READY-link compressed natural gas (CNG) conversion," said Chris Weiss, Vice President, Engineering at Knapheide.
The Westport-Knapheide agreement ensures an integrated original equipment manufacturer (OEM) experience for fleet customers, and provides uncompromised quality and testing of the installed bi-fuel system and service bodies. Westport READY-link process occurs alongside the Westport WiNG Power System on the Ford Super Duty trucks at the Westport Kentucky Integration Center, a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier audited facility, before the trucks are shipped to local Knapheide dealerships for service body upfit.

Westport READY-link will be available for order on Ford F-250 and F-350 box-delete trucks with the Westport WiNG Power System beginning April 1, 2013. The Super Duty trucks are equipped with a standard 18.4 or an optional 24.5 gasoline gallon equivalent Type-4 composite CNG fuel cylinder, the lightest, non-corrosive cylinder technology available in the market. Starting at an industry leading price of $9,500, the Westport systems are available exclusively through Westport-authorized Ford dealerships.

About Westport Innovations Inc.

Westport Innovations Inc. is a leading global supplier of proprietary solutions that allow engines to operate on clean-burning fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen, and renewable natural gas (RNG) fuels such as landfill gas and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Westport technology offers advanced LNG fueling systems with direct injection natural gas engine technology for heavy-duty vehicles such as highway trucks and off-road applications such as mining and rail.  Cummins Westport, our joint venture with Cummins Inc., designs, engineers and markets spark-ignited natural gas engines for medium- and heavy-duty transportation applications such as trucks and buses. Westport is also one of the global leaders for natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) fuel system technology, design, and components in passenger cars, light-duty trucks and industrial applications such as forklifts. To learn more about our business, visit westport.comsubscribe to our RSS feed, or follow us on Twitter @WestportDotCom.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements

Note: This document contains forward-looking statements about Westport’s business, operations, technology development or the environment in which it operates, which are based on Westport’s estimates, forecasts and projections. These statements include specifically, statements regarding the pricing and timing for availability of the READY-link system. These statements are not guarantees of future performance, are based on a number of assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict, or are beyond Westport’s control including the development of competing products and technologies, availability and supply of natural gas, price and supply of gasoline, timing of execution of agreements with distributors and other counterparties, and other risk factors and assumptions that may affect our actual results, performance or achievements. Consequently, readers should not place any undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. In addition, these forward-looking statements relate to the date on which they are made. Westport disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise except as required by National Instrument 51-102. The contents of any website, RSS feed or Twitter account referenced in this press release are not incorporated by reference herein.


2014 Ram Heavy Duty — The King of Capability Offers Exclusive Air Suspension and an All-new Best-in-class V-8 Engine

  • 2014 Ram Heavy Duty retains the highest level of capability with best-in-class towing, best-in-class payload and best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)
  • Largest displacement V-8 in the segment, all-new 6.4-liter HEMI® delivers best-in-class power
  • 2014 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty starts at $29,600, plus $1,095 destination; 6.4-liter HEMI option priced $1,495 greater than similarly equipped 5.7-liter HEMI-powered Ram
  • New engine offering opens the door to additional customers who are looking for a large gasoline powertrain at a great value
  • Two gas-powered options, plus manual and automatic transmission-equipped diesel powertrains offer customers a wide range of choices to meet their needs
  • Available 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 delivers best-in-class 410 horsepower (306 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 429 lb.-ft. of torque (582 N•m) at 4,000 rpm, and features VVT with Fuel Saver cylinder deactivation
  • Standard 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 delivers 383 horsepower (286 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 400 lb.-ft. of torque (542 N•m), and features variable-valve timing for greater efficiency and performance
  • Available 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel produces 385 horsepower (283 kW) at 2,800 rpm and best-in-class 850 lb.-ft. of torque (1,151 N•m)
  • Ram engineering continues to lead Heavy Duty segment innovation with Ram 2500 link coil rear suspension to deliver best-in-class ride
  • Exclusive factory rear air suspension for Ram 2500 and exclusive factory supplemental air suspension system for Ram 3500
  • New gooseneck/fifth wheel capability for Ram 2500
  • Ram PowerWagon increases capability with all-new 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine and new suspension
  • New best-in-class dual alternator systems up to 440 amps
  • New 18- and 20-inch wheel packages
  • Unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/100,000 miles – and best-in-class 15,000-mile oil change interval on the Cummins diesel engine

June 28, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Ram Truck brand offers the most capable heavy-duty pickups in the segment – the 2014 Ram Heavy Duty line features a list of best-in-class titles in the segment's number one purchase reason, capability:
  • Towing – Up to 30,000 pounds with Ram 3500
  • Towing – Up to 17,940 pounds with Ram 2500
  • Payload – Up to 7,320 pounds with Ram 3500
  • Power – 850 lb.-ft. of torque with 6.7-liter Cummins
  • Power – 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque with all-new 6.4-liter HEMI V-8
  • Capacity – Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 37,600 pounds with Ram 3500
Pricing for the new 2014 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty starts at $29,600, plus $1,095 destination. The 6.4-liter HEMI option is priced $1,495 greater than a similarly equipped 5.7-liter HEMI-powered Ram Heavy Duty pickup and is the first gas engine available in the dual rear wheel 3500.

Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty trucks also add new innovation, including an all-new, 5-link coil suspension with optional air suspension on Ram 2500 and a supplemental air bag suspension option on Ram 3500.

ENGINEERINGHeavy-duty trucks generally have suspension equipped for constant, heavy payloads. This can result in a harsher ride when unloaded. Ram innovation leads again for 2014. The new Ram 2500 takes lessons learned from the Ram 1500 and adds an all-new, segment exclusive five-link coil rear suspension system for best-in-class ride and handling and new air suspension system.

The exclusive five-link coil design provides better articulation over obstacles than a leaf spring system and the robust coil springs are more than up to the task of handling the loads required of a Heavy Duty Ram 2500 — up to 17,940 pounds for towing.

The 2014 Ram 2500 also will offer a segment exclusive rear air suspension system. An air bag replaces the coil spring much like the Ram 1500. Load capacity is not sacrificed and the 2014 Ram 2500’s best-in-class ride and handling gets even better, crushing the competition with two doses of engineering innovation (five-link coil standard and air suspension option). Another benefit to the new air suspension design is the load-leveling capability, which automatically detects load on the rear suspension from a trailer or payload. The air pressure increases until the vehicle reaches normal ride height, leveling the truck, improving stability and loaded ride.

The Ram 3500 will continue to feature the rear Hotchkiss leaf spring system on the Ram 3500 but will now offer a supplemental air suspension system on SRW and DRW applications. By adding supplemental air bags to the rear suspension, Ram engineers were able to soften the leaf springs, allowing for more unladed suspension movement. When a high-load capacity condition exists, the air suspension automatically fills the rear air bags to level the truck to improve stability and ride quality — even pulling a best-in-class 30,000-lb. load.

In the front, the Ram Heavy Duty line features an advanced three-link front suspension to ensure roll stiffness. Greater roll stiffness, also known as body roll, is an important characteristic in taller vehicles and especially trucks with heavy payloads. Roll stiffness is measured by the amount the truck’s body tips side-to-side, independently of the wheels, during cornering.

For 2014 Ram 2500 offers gooseneck (center-positioned ball in the bed) or fifth wheel capability. Ram is unmatched in terms of offering the most complete ‘hitch ‘n go’ towing prep package found anywhere in the heavy-duty category. Additionally, Ram features an in-box connection junction, and a standard Class 4 and 5 receiver hitch with a four or seven pin connector on the bumper.

Ram offers two different dual alternator systems on the 2014 Ram Heavy Duty providing additional power for higher electrical loads from commercial vehicle upfits and accessories. New for 2014, Ram Heavy Duty models equipped with the Cummins 6.7-liter diesel engine will offer dual 220-amp alternators (best-in-class 440 amps). Both the Ram 2500 and 3500 equipped with the new 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 gas engine also will offer a dual-alternator system – the first gas-driven application of its kind in either class – that combines 220- and 160-amp units for 380-amps of total best-in-class output.

Although the Ram Power Wagon benefits from the new five-link rear suspension, it also receives a unique front suspension system to maintain its leadership in off-road capability. The modified front three-link system incorporates high-movement links, allowing for additional flexibility and axle articulation. The 2014 Power Wagon also is powered by the all-new 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine, contributing to Ram Power Wagon’s title: the most capable production off-road truck in the industry.

POWERTRAINWith Chrysler Group’s all-new 6.4-liter HEMI V-8, the 2014 Ram Heavy Duty will deliver to best-in-class horsepower and best-in-class torque among pickups with gasoline engines.

Engineered to deliver capability, durability and bang for the buck, the largest displacement V-8 in its class provides a worthy gas-powered option to the segment’s overall standard-bearer – the 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel.

Compelling numbers tell the story of the new 16-valve engine with 410 horsepower (306 kW) at 5,600 rpm and a peak torque rating of 429 lb.-ft. (582 N•m), at 4,000 rpm.

One of the enablers for such performance is an active dual-runner-length intake manifold optimized specifically for the Ram Heavy Duty lineup. The result is improved low-end torque without sacrificing high-end power.

The legendary HEMI architecture provides the foundation of the 90-degree V-8. But its advanced technology is decidedly forward-looking. Cooled exhaust-gas recirculation (CEGR), variable-valve timing (VVT) and Chrysler Group’s trademark Fuel Saver cylinder-deactivation technology all contribute to efficiency and help to capitalize on every cubic inch.

The new 6.4-liter HEMI is standard on the 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission.

Other engine options include the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8, standard equipment for the Ram 2500 and 3500 (SRW). The engine produces 383 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and generates peak torque of 400 lb.-ft. at 4,000 rpm. The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 is mated to a 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission.

Dominating the torque charts, the renowned 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel I-6 is available in three versions. The first version is paired with Ram’s segment exclusive six-speed manual transmission, which features a wear-compensating clutch for lifetime like-new performance and a dual-trunion shift tower to accommodate a compact shift pattern. This combination delivers 350 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 660 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,400 rpm. The second option matches the Cummins to the 68RFE six-speed automatic transmission. The diesel engine cranks out 370 horsepower at 2,800 rpm with an unsurpassed in ¾-ton trucks 800 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,600 rpm.

Finally, the 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel I-6 for Ram 3500 is paired with the Aisin six-speed automatic transmission (AS69RC), leaving no doubt to Ram Heavy Duty’s capability. In addition to 385 horsepower at 2,800 rpm, the most powerful Cummins, generates best-in-class torque of 850 lb.-ft. at 1,700 rpm. The AS69RC transmission features wide gear ratios that contribute to impressive shift performance, efficiency and drivability.

The Ram Heavy Duty also features another innovation, the industry-exclusive Ram Active Air intake system. When the intake system senses extreme heat, it draws cooler air from the front of the vehicle – a function that also engages at high altitudes for superior throttle response in low oxygen environments. When conditions are wet from snow, ice or water-fording, the system pulls air from an under-hood inlet, clear from snow packing and water. The 2014 Ram 3500 boasts a best-in-class GCWR. A contributor is the 11.8-inch rear axle matched with the high-output diesel engine boasting a 300-mm hypoid gear set, a 4-pinion helical differential and a cooling-fin equipped aluminum differential cover for optimal thermal management.

Two Borg-Warner part-time transfer cases are available on the 2014 Ram Heavy Duty. The BW 44-46 is an electric shifting part-time transfer case with 2WD, 4WD High, 4WD Low and Neutral. BW 44-47 is a manual shifting transfer case with 2WD, 4WD High, 4WD Low and Neutral. Both options feature a low-range ratio of 2.64 and locking differential from front to rear.

Low total cost of ownership and unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years / 100,000 miles
Operating costs are of great consideration for owners who use their trucks for work. The 2014 Ram Heavy Duty holds class-leading features in:
  • Fuel economy
  • Extended maintenance cycle (oil change, fuel filter life)
  • Brake life with advanced engine exhaust brake and largest brakes in the segment
The 2014 Ram Heavy Duty is backed with an unsurpassed five-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. The powertrain-limited warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component – engine, transmission and drive system. Coverage also includes free towing to the nearest Ram Truck dealer, if necessary. The warranty also is transferable allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period to pass the coverage to the new owner. The standard three-year/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram Heavy Duty, from the body to the electrical system.

DESIGNThe new 2014 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty models uphold a bold presence while retaining comfort and styling. The new Ram Heavy Duty features segment-leading technology – every model offers specific content.

Beginning in the 2014 model year, the Ram 2500 will offer a range of new 18- and 20-inch wheels, including forged aluminum, polished with painted, white gold painted pockets and cast aluminum with silver inserts. A cargo-view camera, mounted in the center high-mounted stop light (CHMSL) provides a view of the bed for easier fifth wheel or gooseneck trailers as well as monitoring bed loads. Also, a flat-load floor option is now available on Crew Cab models, featuring fold-out panels that create a flat surface across the floor of the rear seating area.

For 2014, the Ram Heavy Duty offers 12 different colors, including two new shades: Blue Streak and Granite Crystal; available in a monotone and/or two-tone depending on the model.

MANUFACTURINGStart of production of the 2014 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty is scheduled for the third quarter of 2013 at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico.


All-New Ford Transit Connect Offers Smart Cargo Solutions for Class-Leading Every-Day Load Carrying

  • All-New Ford Transit Connect delivers innovative loadspace features which enhance access and storage to create the most flexible and capable load area in the class
  • Transit Connect will be launched late this year to become the only van in class to carry bulky building sheets and load a Europallet via the side door; Kombi version offers unique flat load platform with rear folding seats
  • Load-through hatch in Transit Connect bulkhead ensures businesses can transport awkward items up to 3.4 metres in length

COLOGNE, Germany, July 5, 2013 – Ford’s all-new Transit Connect offers class-leading load-carrying ability to make work easier for plumbers, electricians and other trades.

The new Transit Connect that will be launched late this year enables businesses to load and transport awkward and bulky items with a load-through hatch in the bulkhead, fold-up front passenger seat and – via the widest opening in the class on the long wheelbase model (L2) – the unique ability to load a Europallet through the sliding side door.

A special profile at the top of the full steel bulkhead also offers the unique-in-class ability to accommodate 2.4 m x 1.2 m (8 ft x 4 ft) sheets in the L2 van; while the Kombi L2 offers rear seats which fold into a flat load platform.

“We watched tradespeople loading and unloading vehicles to make sure we got the design of the all-new Transit Connect just right,” said Stephen Lesh, Transit Connect chief program engineer, Ford of Europe. “This van is ready for anything. It can haul all manner of tools and materials – and transport a work crew in safety and comfort.”

Ford engineers developed the innovative load-through system to ensure the Transit Connect could safely transport long items such as pipes or rolls of flooring up to 3.4 metres (L2) and up to 3.0 metres in the short wheelbase (L1) version. This involved the development of a hinged access panel in the bulkhead and a special “fold and dive” mechanism for the outer passenger seat; creating a dished profile in the surface of the passenger seat back; and designing the instrument panel so long items could slide underneath.

The all-new Transit Connect also offers customers further smart features including:
  • Flexible dual passenger seat which enables two passengers to travel with the driver. The outer passenger seat folds upwards to allow large boxes on the cab floor, or flat to accommodate longer items through the bulkhead
  • Ultra-bright LED lighting for the cargo space, enabling it to function as a working area
  • Standard bodyside fixing points at waist and shoulder height in the load compartment, which allow additional tie-down loops, racking or framework to be fitted more easily
  • Functional mobile office features in the cab including Ford SYNC connectivity and generous stowage space; the inner dual passenger seat folds flat as working space, or flips up to reveal a stowage box
  • Versatile rear seating in Kombi and Double-Cab-in-Van models, with a movable mesh bulkhead; L2 models offer class-unique fold-flat seating for the second and third rows to create a flat load platform.

The all-new Transit Connect van offers total load volumes of 2.9 m3 (L1) and 3.6 m3 (L2) with full bulkhead fitted, or 3.7 m3 (L1) and 4.4 m3 (L2) without bulkhead including the front loadspace area, both measured according to SAE; the van has a maximum payload of up to 1,000 kg, matching the class-best figure. Deliveries of the new model are scheduled to start at the end of 2013.

About Ford Motor CompanyFord Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.

Ford Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 47,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 69,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 24 manufacturing facilities (15 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and nine unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.


World-First Driveline, Breakthrough Transmission, Four New Engines Mark Milestone Model-Year for Chrysler Group

  • World’s first front-wheel-drive-based 4x4 system with rear-axle disconnect
  • World’s first nine-speed automatic transmission – one of three new gearboxes
  • New 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8, mightiest gasoline engine in heavy-duty pickup segment
  • New 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 – lone diesel engine in light-duty pickup segment
  • New 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6, derived from award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar
  • New 3.0-liter EcoDiesel I-4 commercial truck engine

June 28, 2013 , Chelsea, Mich. - Chrysler Group mashes the throttle on engine, transmission and driveline debuts for model-year 2014.

The introductions, which span multiple model lines, send a clear message to the world.

“We are steadfast in our commitment to innovate for the benefit of our customers,” said Mircea Gradu, Vice President — Powertrain Transmission and Driveline Engineering and Head of Virtual Analysis. “Nowhere is this more evident than on the all-new 2014 Jeep® Cherokee.”

The all-new Cherokee’s stylish appearance belies the rugged capability delivered by its unique 4x4 system.

It is the first mid-size sport-utility (SUV) to feature a front-wheel-drive-based rear-axle disconnect system. It delivers four-wheel traction whenever it’s needed, without driver intervention.

A fully variable wet clutch housed in the rear drive module supplies the proper amount of torque for any traction condition. This capability also is a boon to aggressive starts.

Sophisticated algorithms enable the system to benefit driving dynamics by interacting with electronic stability control (ESC). When conditions are more favorable, it seamlessly switches to two-wheel-drive for optimum efficiency.

The system is available with either a one- or two-speed driveline (PTU and RDM). A locking differential is available with the two-speed PTU.

In low range, the 2.92:1 gear reduction also sets up aggressive crawl ratios – 56:1 when the vehicle is powered by the 2.4-liter Tigershark I-4 engine, and 47.8:1 when powered by the new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6. Such specifications benefit off-road performance.

An available locking rear differential enhances control in extreme off-road conditions and is selectable in any low-range terrain mode.

Geared upModel-year 2014 also marks the world debut of Chrysler Group’s nine-speed automatic transmission.

The advanced-technology gearbox enables aggressive launches, smooth power delivery at highway speeds and greater fuel efficiency than a six-speed automatic transmission. Its ratios are:

1st – 4.71
2nd – 2.84
3rd – 1.91
4th – 1.38
5th – 1.00
6th – 0.81
7th – 0.70
8th – 0.58
9th – 0.48

The wide ratio spread delivers outstanding low-end performance while small gear-ratio steps contribute to smooth transitions. Four overdrive ratios benefit highway fuel economy and reduce overall noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels.

The all-new, fully electronic nine-speed automatic features on-the-fly shift map changing with manual-shifting capability via Electronic Range Select. More than 40 shift maps correspond to specific conditions to optimize shift quality and shift points for improved fuel economy, performance and drivability.

To determine the appropriate shift mode, the sophisticated software accounts for variables such as engine torque gradients, kick-down events, longitudinal and lateral acceleration and grade changes. For improved driving comfort and refinement, additional parameters integrated into the transmission control strategy include: temperature, speed and electronic stability control. The result is automatic shifting attuned to the performance requirements of almost any driving situation.

Internally the transmission has four gear sets and six shift elements – multi-disc clutches, dog clutches and brakes. Only two friction-plate clutches are open in every gear, minimizing power loss.

Other new transmissions are the AS66RC six-speed automatic featured in 2014 Ram chassis cab models, and the M40 six-speed automated manual in the all-new Ram ProMaster full-size commercial van.

Sourced from Aisin, the AS66RC allows for optional 45HP and 250 lb.-ft. left- or right-side PTO. Paired with the HEMI®, efficiency is improved with Fuel Saver cylinder deactivation operation while in PTO mode.

The new M40 automated manual is mated to the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel I-4 in the ProMaster. The unique gearbox delivers the efficiency of a manual transmission with the functionality of an automatic.
At its core, it is a manual, but gearshifts and clutch functions are accomplished with an electro-hydraulic actuation system.

However, the driver can opt for manual shift-lever inputs when desired. But the driver needn’t do all the work. Shift logic is adjusted according to grade steepness so the gearbox responds intuitively to driving conditions.

New Engines EmpowerChrysler Group’s expanding product lineup demands new engines. So powertrain engineers delivered four new ones – or is it five?

6.4-liter HEMI® V-8The all-new 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 is actually two engines. Chrysler Group is producing one version for Ram HD pickups and another for Ram Chassis Cab models.

Each is optimized for its respective duty cycle. Both are expected to provide Ram with best-in-class bragging rights among gasoline-powered competitors.

The new 16-valve engine will make 410 horsepower (306kW) at 5,600 rpm while generating peak torque of 429 lb.-ft. (582 Nm) at 4,000 rpm.

The legendary HEMI architecture provides the foundation of the 90-degree V-8. But its advanced technology is decidedly forward-looking.

Cooled exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) delivers greater efficiency and elevated refinement. These attributes are manifested in reduced pumping losses and lower emissions. Pumping losses are further reduced by variable-valve timing (VVT).

Efficiency is a hallmark of the new 6.4-liter HEMI V-8, starting with Chrysler Group’s celebrated Fuel Saver cylinder-deactivation technology. When conditions allow, as in highway cruising, the system seamlessly shuts down four cylinders to conserve fuel.

Upgraded valve-seat material, aluminum cylinder heads, a forged-steel crankshaft and a cast-iron block contribute to durability.

Computational fluid dynamic simulations were employed to optimize the cooling circuit in the block, heads and water pump. Other features that mitigate heat include a robust/high-volume oil cooler, oil jets for piston cooling and – in the HD pickup application – a stainless-steel exhaust manifold and sodium-filled exhaust valves.

3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6The new 3.0-liter 24-valve, dual-overhead-cam (DOHC) EcoDiesel debuts in the 2014 Jeep® Grand Cherokee and 2014 Ram 1500. It is a turbocharged 60-degree V-6 that generates 240 horsepower at 3,600 rpm and makes torque like a V-8 – 420 lb.-ft. at 2,000 rpm – without V-8 fuel consumption.

The new turbo diesel is designed and produced by VM Motori, a Chrysler Group diesel engine supplier since 1992.

The engine is shouldered by a bedplate and cylinder block of Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI), which is engineered to deliver higher strength. This enhances durability and reduces noise, vibration and harshness – a focus of many EcoDiesel design features, such as its structural aluminum oil pan.

The EcoDiesel’s 60-degree cylinder-bank angle and 1-2-3-4-5-6 firing order are optimized to manage inertia and firing loads, eliminating the need for a balance shaft.

Durability is further ensured by the EcoDiesel’s forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods – which provide additional NVH benefits – and its aluminum alloy pistons. These pistons, which benefit from cooling oil jets, reduce reciprocating mass inside the engine for enhanced efficiency and performance feel.

The EcoDiesel V-6 features Fiat’s innovative MultiJet II common-rail fuel-injection system. High-dispersion nozzles enable fuel-injection events that occur with greater precision up to eight times per cylinder cycle.

The interval between two consecutive injections also is better modulated to mitigate noise and benefit fuel consumption and emissions reduction. This is known as Injection Rate Shaping.

The new EcoDiesel V-6 achieves 50-state emissions compliance. A key enabler is the engine’s cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system, which is controlled by an electric valve instead of the conventional pneumatic variety.

A state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system also reduces emissions. It incorporates a unique Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) system that, unlike competitive systems, alerts the driver to low DEF levels while also allowing the engine to maintain full power.

Other features include an insulated DEF tank with heated lines mitigates the effects of cold-weather operation and an exhaust-system strategy that reduces soot output while also improving fuel economy and meeting emissions standards

The DEF tank holds eight gallons of fluid. Duty cycle determines refills, but the average interval is about 10,000 miles. DEF is commonly available fuel stations and is also offered by Mopar, Chrysler Group’s dealer network and Cummins dealers and distributors.

The standard engine oil cooler, when the EcoDiesel is used with 5W30 synthetic oil, contributes to a 10,000-mile oil-change interval. The use of B-20 biodiesel is validated and approved for the new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel.

3.2-liter Pentastar V-6The new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 bows in the all-new 2014 Jeep® Cherokee. It carries over all the design features that make smooth power delivery one of the most captivating traits of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, named one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines three years running.

A 60-degree, deep-skirt, die-cast-aluminum cylinder block with six-bolt main caps afford optimal stiffness for mitigation of NVH. Also contributing to NVH reduction are:
  • A structural windage tray to complement block stiffness
  • A structural aluminum oil pan
  • Direct-mounted alternator and A/C compressor that increases stiffness
  • Select-fit pistons with polymer-graphite-coated piston skirts
  • “Silent chain” timing drive with inverted teeth for minimal sprocket NVH
  • Contoured composite cylinder-head covers
  • Glass-reinforced nylon composite intake manifold
Further enhancing the driving experience is the specially designed intake manifold, which also featuers low-rumble tuning.

The Jeep Cherokee’s V-6 engine boasts forged-steel connecting rods and piston-squirter jets, and its cam drive and valve-train components require no scheduled maintenance.

The new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine was subjected to 3.3 million customer-equivalent miles prior to production.

3.0-liter EcoDiesel I-4 The 2014 Ram ProMaster full-size commercial van marks the North American introduction of the potent 174-horsepower 3.0-liter inline 4-cylinder EcoDiesel engine that generates peak torque of 295 lb.-ft. at just 1,400 rpm.

Designed by Fiat, which employs the engine in numerous applications including Class 2, 3 and 4 commercial vehicles, the 16-valve, dual-overhead cam I-4 has been adapted for the North American market with a wide range of modifications that enable regulatory compliance, while also enhancing performance.

A new common-rail fuel-delivery system managed by the engine control unit (ECU) allows for variable timing and duration of multiple fuel-injection events. The combined effect of the extreme injection pressure and optimized injection strategy mitigates emissions, improves fuel economy and offers significant reduction in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

Further refinement comes from a host of design features, such as:
  • Hydraulic tappets and roller-finger followers for valve-lash mitigation and friction reduction
  • Cast-iron engine block stiffened by bed-plate construction
  • Lightweight alloy pistons
  • Dual-mass flywheel
  • High-efficiency exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) cooler (which also benefits emissions compliance)
Also new for North America is a quick-response variable-geometry turbocharger that delivers higher boost at low engine speeds. The result is improved driving satisfaction that comes from superior throttle response.

The engine’s block has been modified to accommodate a heater, which is standard equipment in Canada and optional in the U.S. The block heater improves cold starts at temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees, the same threshold as the transmission heater on the economical M40 automated manual gearbox that is exclusive to the turbo diesel.

To comply with emissions standards, the engine combines the benefits of a new EGR module with a highly efficient after-treatment system.

The urea diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is integrated with heated lines. The five-gallon DEF tank promises nearly 4,000 miles of service. Low-level warnings alert the driver to replenish the supply via a filler neck conveniently adjacent to the optional locking fuel cap.

Reduced total ownership cost is a primary objective of the engine’s design. Key components from the camshaft chain drive to power-steering pump to the high-pressure fuel pump with automatic tensioner (which also benefits NVH) are designed for long life.

Similarly, thoughtful innovations such as wear-resistant cylinder liners, oil-cooled pistons and electronic engine-control units for continuous diagnosis and monitoring are specifically designed to ensure durability.