Ford has temporarily suspended orders of its first commercially-available hybrid van, the Transit Custom, less than three months after the order books opened. Ford stated there have been ‘production bottlenecks’ at the Kocaeli factory in Turkey, where the vehicle is produced.
The news came to light after a customer in Germany received a letter informing that that “due to capacity bottlenecks at the production of the Ford Transit Custom panel van Plug-in Hybrid has been stopped for the time being”.
VanGuide.co.uk managed to obtain a copy of a Ford internal ‘Q&A’ email which reveals that, while production hasn’t stopped, they’re temporarily suspending orders.
Q. Has production of the Transit/Tourneo Custom PHEV been stopped?
A. No, the Transit/Tourneo Custom PHEV models have been successfully launched in production at the plant in Kocaeli, Turkey, and initial customer demand has been very strong.
Q. Why are there reports of customers not being able to order the PHEV models?
A. The initial customer demand has meant that production of the PHEV models is being carefully allocated to the markets in Europe in response to customer orders. To avoid frustration which may result from long delivery times, certain markets have placed a temporary hold on further customer orders.
Q. Has the Transit/Tourneo Custom PHEV been launched in all European markets?
A. Individual markets are scheduling their launch activities in line with anticipated vehicle availability. In some cases, markets have decided to place a hold on customer orders, so that customers are not frustrated by any delays in vehicle delivery.
Ford says that order books are set to reopen in January 2020 in the UK.
About the Ford Transit Custom PHEV
Launched in 2001, the Ford Kocaeli factory produced the Transit in small quantities for the local markets while volume production continued at Southampton. However, manufacturing gradually shifted to Kocaeli and, by 2014, all of Western Europe’s Ford Transits and Transit Customs were being produced in Turkey.
The factory is one of the most modern commercial vehicle manufacturing facilities in the world and last year produced over 180,000 vehicles.
In 2014, Ford announced it was working on and trailing a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version, working with selected fleets, including British Gas and the Metropolitan Police, across Europe. Following successful trials, the vehicle entered production in the summer of 2019 and order books were opened in September.