Ford has announced it will stop selling the Transit Connect – the company’s compact-sized work/passenger van – after the end of the 2023 model year.
Why should you care?
And why does it matter?
Well, for openers, Ford is dropping a vehicle that it sells more of than its “electrified” offerings, such as the F-150 Lightning. This is an odd incongruity in that it used to be a general truism that what sold kept on being made and what didn’t sell they stopped making. But “electrification” has upended that. What sells no longer matters, in terms of what is built. Instead, more of what doesn’t sell gets built – though how that can be sustained (to use a word the people pushing EVs like to use) is hard to understand.
Actually, it isn’t.
All that’s necessary to make it sustainable is to make alternatives unobtainable. Or less desirable, as by making them even more expensive than the “electrified” stuff they want to cram down our throats. As by making fuel unaffordable. Or registration. There are a variety of levers that can be pulled to make it so.
And they will have to be.
Right now Ford – and the others – are having problems selling $50,000 EVs in part because people don’t have to buy $50,000 EVs. It is why Ford recently said it expects to lose at least $3 billion on EVs over the course of the next three years – but that it expects to start making it back sometime after 2026.
EVs aren’t going to get any cheaper – because they can’t. They are not like the Model T Ford, which did get cheaper because it became cheaper to make. Manufacturing efficiencies and lower materials cost made it so.
EVs cannot become cheaper to make because making the batteries EVs need in order to move is expensive – and will become even more so due to the fact that one of the chief materials that is necessary to make EV batteries – lithium – is not renewable and is in short supply.
Thus, more mandated EVs equals more expensive EVs.
It is why they will make non-EVs more expensive, to compensate for this. Which brings us back to the Transit that Ford has decided to cancel. even though it is selling (and no one is being pushed into buying).
You can buy one – for now – for $32,790 in basic “work” configuration and for $34,360 configured for passengers, which it can carry seven of. This is about the same as a standard minivan such as a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna – but in a more compact and less expensive (by several thousand dollars) package. It also has a smaller, simpler (no turbo) four cylinder engine. It isn’t quick but it can go 440-plus miles on a tankful of fuel – and a “tankful” in this case is just shy of 16 gallons, which can be instilled in a few minutes for about $45.
It is extremely practical because it is configurable. It can be used for delivering things or carrying people. Some people convert them into small RVs.
It is thus the antithesis of everything “electrification” stands for.
And that may be why Ford is dropping it.
The honchos know perfectly well that they cannot . . . sustain a business based on losing billions. And they know they will continue losing billions – until they have lost everything – so long as people are still able to buy non-electrified vehicles like the Transit Connect that don’t cost $50,000 to start.
Ergo, it’s got to go.
Just as diesel-powered VWs that cost $23k and went 600 miles in between fill-ups had to go.
Just as Chevy’s Camaro is going, too – even though Chevy sells literally tens of thousands more of them in a year than it has sold “electrified” models such as the Hummer – probably because you can still buy three Camaros for the price of one Hummer and because you don’t need to buy two Camaros to be able to drive wherever you need to go, whenever you need to go. As you would with the Hummer – or any other EV – because you’d want another (fully charged) to be ready to go when the other one runs out of charge – and you haven’t got the time to wait.
Of course, most people cannot afford two EVs, so they buy one that isn’t. This ought to be of “concern” to the “environmentalists” (who are in fact Marxists or the useful idiots of Marxists) who live in dread of the “climate” “changing” in that two EVs cause more “emissions” than one non-EV.
Expect the automakers that have bought into “electrification” to make you pay for their losses, by canceling cars that are alternatives to that and supporting regs and laws that make it exorbitantly costly or even forbidden to drive anything that isn’t “electrified.”
It is the only way their new “business model” can be made . . . sustainable.
Of course, they appear not to have asked themselves how it can be “sustained” when nine out of ten people can no longer afford what they’re selling.
Or have any interest in buying it.
. . .
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How STUPID can Ford be to axe one of their best sellers? I’ve seen a fair amount of Ford vans on the road, including the Transit. Now, they won’t have anything in this market segment; meanwhile, MB has the Sprinter, and Ram has their own van.
Automaker are banking on rent seeking to save them. They will be betrayed by the govt.
How long will it take to transition back to ICE when this all falls apart?
This level of Stupid cannot exist. It will collapse under the weight of its own contradictions.(h/t Ayn Rand)
The sad part is how many people will suffer during the inevitable collapse. It will probably take the collapse of most Western governments which will mean dealing with how to create a civil society without GovCo. The main problem is that so many people either benefit directly, employees and other recipients of this largesse, or have been conditioned to love the master that holds their leash. “Conservatives” are the worst for they think their Patriot-ism is a virtue when its a vice of the worst sort.
Leftists will be easy to deal with once their rice bowls are broken for they have no skills to survive without the virtual world that supports them. The Red-Staters will cling to their Constitution and false god of GovCo’s military and make things tougher until they overcome their cognitive dissonance.
Ford and similar auto manufacturers are just handing over the market to other manufacturers. If it becomes the case that all auto manufacturers that sell vehicles in the U.S. follow suit, then the market will be handed to 3rd party parts manufacturers keeping the old vehicles alive, like Cuba. No matter what, making stupid executive decisions will hand the market over to someone else. The demand for affordable, drivable, maintainable vehicles will always be there
Yup, if you want a small car, you have to go Toyota, Honda, Kia and Hyundai. Ford, GM and Chrysler aren’t even in the game. The thing with blowing off an entire segment, you could lose those customers forever.
“I have seen the future, and it works” – Lincoln Steffens, after visiting the Soviet Union in 1919.
These guys have bought into the “Captialism with Chinese characteristics” myth. They’re true believers that they can non-violently transform the United States into a communist utopia like China. Of course once you get out of the Potemkin villages of Bejing and Shànghǎi its the same old country that Mao left in his wake, full of uneducated, unskilled pensants living in squalor. Except now the land is toxic and there’s an electronic leash around everyone’s neck. The public story is that Bats and other odd protein are “Chinese delicacies.” The truth is that, like the French after the révolution, if you’re hungry enough you’ll eat the snails devouring the crops. The notion that people would seriously consider trading beef, chicken and pork for crickets is abhorrent.
With the option of moving to the city and working 14 hour days at Foxconn, I think I know what choice I’d make. Unfortunately I don’t think that will be open to me.
OMG. I see tons of those Transit Connect vans all over the place!
Killing it means only one thing, they are being forced too by ‘others’ which is our big gov guarantying solvency if you do what we say (or else, most likely).
The shit show is just getting started, and we thought it was bad now.
Today Ford posted a fresh suicide note:
‘PT Vale Indonesia and China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co. today announced an agreement with Ford to advance more sustainable nickel production in Indonesia and help make electric vehicle batteries more affordable.
‘The Pomalaa Block HPAL Project will process ore provided by PT Vale Indonesia to produce mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP), a nickel product used in EV batteries with nickel-rich cathodes. Early site preparations have already started, and full construction is expected to start this year, with commercial operations beginning in 2026.
[Woke boilerplate follows:]
“This framework gives Ford direct control to source the nickel we need – in one of the industry’s lowest-cost ways – and allows us to ensure the nickel is mined in line with our company’s sustainability targets, setting the right ESG standards as we scale,” said Lisa Drake, vice president for Ford Model e EV industrialization.
“Working this way puts Ford in a position to help make EVs more accessible for millions and to do it in a way that helps better protect people and the planet.”
Old timers will recall companies desperately locking up raw material supplies during the 1970s commodities boom, only to watch their prices plunge in the early 1980s.
In other words, all that pre-emptive sourcing, and risky investment in risky mining projects, was based on delusional fears that never materialized.
EeeVee Fever is a crippling disease. And there’s no vaccine for it. 🙁
Of course none of that mining will be done by child labor in Indonesia…..right?
All sorts of hydrocarbons for every war machine on the planet, have to use hydrocarbons where they do the most good, no matter how much harm gets done.
Ignorant Arrogant Stupid Old Adams are at it again, aka Farqing iceholes.
What else is new?
You meek little mice don’t deserve any, get lost or we’re gonna kill ya.
I guess some old billionaire kicked the bucket and the US gov is 7 billion dollars richer today.
It is already in the right hands, Zelensky’s.
No more for the Big Guy, that’s done.
It’s not just the Transit that is going away, all of the compact commercial vans are going away.
cant ban ammo, ban the lead factory
cant ban ICEs, have the makers stop making them
Should just to go external combustion and roll coal for real in their face
‘Some people convert them into small RVs.’ — eric
First they came for my compact SUV. Then my compact pickup. Now they’re taking away my compact van.
The first-generation (in North America) Transit Connect (2010-2013), designed by Peter Horbury of Ford Europe and manufactured in Türkiye, is a beautiful example of a compact van.
It was never available here with the 1.8-liter diesel and 5-speed manual offered in Europe. But since it was based on the Ford Focus platform, a few were modified in the US with clutches and 5-speed manuals salvaged from Ford Focus parts. I certainly would have bought one in that configuration.
Ford is committing suicide. But shouldn’t we help Ford along with compassionate euthanasia, since clearly it doesn’t want to live anymore?
Ford’s brain has been scrambled by hundreds of jolts of Electric Vehicle Convulsive Therapy (EVCT) delivered by Big Gov’s white coats. Now a devastated, hollow-eyed Ford sits in a darkened room facing the corner, muttering ‘Mustang, Mustang’ to itself.
So sad! Time to let Ford go, with dignity, at the ripe age of 120.
LOL. I love your post, Jim!
Great post Jim….I was never a Ford guy, but I did like the 70s Boss 302 Mustang. I really think we will see a realignment of the auto industry like the early 20th century, when the original manufactures went bust or were combined into GM.
And again in the 50s, and 60s. Studebaker, Hudson, AMC. International harvester, etc. Because they couldn’t keep up with the big three. Now the big three aren’t keeping up, so the door MIGHT open for others, if the goons with guns will let them in.
We’re all Cubans now. Wife drives a 2005 Outback, 166k miles, and am looking to replace with 2024 model. Golly, I *just might* keep the 2005 as a spare! Dunno how serviceable the 2024 will be. Direct injection, nanny state safety gizmos, blah, blah, blah for the 2024. Maybe just keep rebuilding the 2005…
Why doesnt the government just plain ole make gas cost $20+ a gallon and call it good? Then everyone would rush to EV’s. That I dont get. They have it in their power to just do that. Why dont they? So, that’s what pisses me off. If you going to do something, and you’re a True Believer, then just fu@#$ing do it! Instead of trying to weasel it in… Sheesh
You can do a LOT of work on an old vehicle for the price of a new one. And instead of going into debt for a new one, you can do work on an old one as you can afford it. Which you will be able to do because you aren’t making a car payment that was a mortgage payment not so many years ago. Not to mention cheaper insurance and taxes, and less “driver assistance”.
Raider Girl – Media reference. Chris Farley’s cousin has made the decision to cancel a van any of us could use to live … down by the river.
You can take a good look at an EV’s battery issues by sticking your head up the undercarriage, but wouldn’t you rather take the engineer’s word for it?
Wait, we fired all the engineers. Son of a …
I find “Tommy Boy” more hilarious now, given Ford’s antics under Jim Farley, than when I originally saw it.
Sadly, Dan Aykroyd is not going to step in and save us.
To answer my own question — the Transit Connect will continue to be available in Europe.
I honestly believe we haven’t seen the last of the van or the Fusion.
Oh my gosh, I haven’t seen Tommy Boy since it came out in theatres back 1995. I have to rewatch it. I am starting to think Hollywood is steering the future. A frightening thought.
I read an article this morning on Epoch Times that 1100 software engineers (including Musk and Steve Wozniak) are concerned about the dangers of AI and believe it needs to be pulled back until it can be deemed safe for society. My first thought was “really”? Have none of these guys/gals ever seen Terminator, the Matrix, hell, even Robocop? Why are we surprised that movies are foretelling the existence of what is to come or what is already here?
Will Musk be putting a halt to Neuralink or are chips in the human brain satisfactory, but chips in robots not?
Personally, I am a promoter of scraping it all. If human beings are so brainy, why would we want to manufacture objects that will destroy us?
I agree, RG –
Thinking machines will be the end us. If not literally – physically – in terms of everything that made us human, then by making us dependent upon and controlled by thinking machines.
I can think of few things more ominous – or depressing.
The Butlerian Jihad. Frank Herbert’s Dune, 1965
Second that RG,
“Terminator” should be required viewing for these AI advocates, but perhaps they’re using it as a template. I read somewhere that the Pentagram already has autonomous drones, guess Skynet is going live any day now.
And The Matrix. And Blade Runner. And others I’m not thinking of.
According to Apple insider friends, the program scroll in the Terminator’s “vision” in the original movie is Apple II assembly language scanned from hobbyist magazines of the era which went broke and copyrights disappeared.
The Apple II, product of the genius of Steve Wozniak.
My 2¢ worth, as a veteran software engineer:
“AI” is in my view software programmed to make inferences and synthesize linguistic (and other) responses from huge datasets.
These datasets are not just what’s been indexed from the web over the past 25 years, but everything our tech overlords vacuumed up from your smartphone, Alexa, Google drive, Ring, Nest, photo stream, cloud storage… EVERYTHING.
AI’s designers get to decide the “weightings” to add or subtract to the parts of the dataset that align or conflict with their agenda and worldview.
Tech is neither good nor evil per se, but it’s trivially easy for AI to be employed for extremely evil purposes.
The chickens of the mindless rush to “automate everything” over the last 3 decades are finally coming home to roost. As more and more processes in modern life — physical, legal, logistical, etc. — become systemetized and automated, they’re necessarily detached from real human interaction: no more paper forms with signatures, live visits, phone conversations with real human beings, etc. Any application of AI into real world processes without human oversight should give everyone pause.
Ultimately, I think AI will make it impossible for folks to discern truth from fiction in anything beyond face-to-face interaction (and they’re working on that too). AI is a deliberate means of undermining and destroying the trust networks that are essential to peaceful societies. AI “bots” can already synthesize any of us by sampling our digital footprint, whether in voice, written word, even visually in zoom calls. What we laughed at in Terminator movies is now a reality.
This hell is of our own making, and in my opinion, is the wet dream of the Father of Lies himself.
Thanks for your insight, MrBill. It always good to hear from people who specialize in fields such as software engineering on what is to come concerning AI.
It seems the best way around this is for most individuals to decentralize (and desensitize) themselves from technology…more human interaction, less texting, more time outdoors, less time behind a computer, etc.
I feel much better knowing I have never “Zoomed”. I think I will hold onto my landline phone a bit longer. 🙂
Is the Transit Connect totally going away or Ford will simply stop selling them here?
The van was always a weird import job for Dearborn — built in Spain with windows, imported, and then converted to commercial configurations in … Jacksonville?
The Chinese have a new Mondeo/Fusion IC vehicle which I believe will eventually find its way here.
The free market wins again (too bad we don’t have one), and the automakers lose, and lose big time. And that’s leaving aside there is no generating or grid capacity to operate the EVs they want to sell. I can’t decide if they are stupid, or have just given up on thinking about it, since any critical thought process would determine “don’t do it”.
Three billion dollars used to be a lot of money. Apparently Ford no longer thinks so.
Once upon a time, Ford made $2 billion per year, just on Lincoln Town Cars.
Horst……True but virtue signaling is PRICELESS.
Yes it is, because it has no real market value.