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Ford is launching a sub-brand of people movers based on its Transit van in Europe that will be completed with a small model to be built in Turkey due first in a passenger version and then as a commercial vehicle.

The Tourneo line will not be sold in North America, but in Europe there will be the 5-seat Tourneo Courier that expands Ford’s peoplemover range into the small-car segment and the 7-seat Grand Tourneo Connect, both of which are premiering at the show along with the 5-seat Tourneo Connect and and Tourneo Custom, which offers 9-seat capability and a choice of two lengths.

“This segment is forecast to grow by 70% in the next four years,” says Barbara Samardzich, director-sales.

A few comments:

* I suspect that this line of vans could find it's way to the US anyway, despite Ford protests to the contrary, if the new Focus-based van is successful. I think the new van is just testing the waters.

* Note the expected growth in this van market in Europe. Seems impressive, but there's no indication of the baseline number.

* Later in the article, it's mentioned that Ford is #2 in sales in Europe with 6.9% of the market. VW is by FAR, #1.....if I remember correctly, I think it's near 20%.

* Also: Deliveries tumbled 25% in January, dropping share to 6.9% in the European Union, but he says that was partly because Ford is moving away from the fleet market and toward sales to individuals. Fleet sales are huge in Europe. Seems like a risky strategy, but maybe they know what they're doing. You can bet they know the market better than I do! LOL

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