Ford is seeing an additional increase in sales of its Transit van – already America’s top seller – as small business owners rethink traditional models of operation with the rise of an on-demand economy.
Ford is reporting a “mobile operations” trend with small businesses and entrepreneurs in the US, which in turn is boosting Transit sales. In a nutshell, rather than operating out of traditional bricks-and-mortar locations, small businesses are using work vans to bring products and services to the customer.
“This trend sits right at the intersection of craft and convenience,” said Sheryl Connelly, Ford Chief Futurist. “Clicking a button and getting something shipped to you is something we’re used to, but now we’re quickly moving into ‘Click a button, get a service or get a custom experience.’”
With today’s taller vans (like the Transit), it’s easier than ever for entrepreneurs to turn their vehicles into mobile workshops or offices. Add in conveniences like Wi-Fi (like Ford’s Fordpass Connect with 4G LTE Wi-Fi with connectivity for up to 10 devices), and customers can use their mobile devices while waiting for their bicycles to be fixed, for example.
“We all saw this start with the food truck trend,” Connelly adds, “but as we shift away from commodity purchasing and toward personalized retail experiences, we’re seeking a more meaningful connection with brands – one that turns commonplace transactions into memorable moments. So being able to build out a van to suit that experience is a new way to imagine a brand.”