Now made in Turkey, the Ford Transit was manufactured for many years in Southampton. Over the past four decades, just over two million Transit vans were made by Ford at their UK plant. The Transit was originally designed as a cargo van, but has had many alterations and variations made to it over the years to fulfil a wide range of niche markets. The floor space of the cargo area of a transit was, when it was conceived, designed to be large enough to carry standard panels used by builders, so that they could be loaded in flat – hence why the Transit is often referred to as a panel van.
The first generation of Transit, known as the Mark I, was launched in the autumn of 1965. With a restyled front section and radiator grille, the Mark II leapt on to the UK market in 1978. This version continued to be in production until 1986, although it did get a new engine in the interim. The third generation of the transit had a significant outer body shell redesign as well as being available with a turbo diesel engine. Between 2000 and 2006, the next Transit was sold, which also had a four-door minibus variant as well as being available as a four man crew van and a two-door pick up.
Since 2006, Ford has sold the fifth generation Transit. This version features a gear stick that is mounted on the dashboard and new exterior lights. The old petrol engine of earlier generations was replaced and all of the diesel engine variants received high-pressure common rail systems. The Transit is now available with five-speed and six-speed transmissions and you can even select a four-wheel drive version, if you need it.