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by Tim Beissmann

Ford Australia will not introduce the new Tourneo people mover as it says there is not enough demand for the family friendly van in our market.

Previewed by the near-production-ready Ford Tourneo Custom Concept, the eight-seat Tourneo will launch across Europe and Asia in the coming months. It will be followed closely by the new Transit commercial vehicle range, upon which the Tourneo people mover is based.

Despite being confirmed for right-hand-drive production, Ford Australia says it has no plans to add the Tourneo to its line-up. Ford Australia’s Sinead Phipps said the company did not believe there was enough demand for the vehicle to make its introduction viable.

The people mover segment made up 1.1 per cent of the total new vehicle market in Australia in 2011, with 11,109 vehicles sold. The Kia Grand Carnival is the dominant model in the category, with 3595 delivered last year, giving it a 32 per cent share of the market.

The Tourneo adopts the kinetic design language of Ford’s passenger vehicles, giving it a car-like appearance with style and personality.

The dashboard and instrument cluster takes design cues from the Focus small car, and Ford says its designers worked hard to create a comfortable cabin with high-quality materials on par with its passenger cars.

The Tourneo Custom Concept is powered by a 114kW 2.2-litre diesel engine with stop-start technology. The engine will also be available in 74kW and 92kW tunes throughout the Transit range, as Ford targets class-leading fuel efficiency from its new van range.

The Tourneo is also aiming to set new standards for technology and safety. Six airbags, rear-view camera, lane departure warning, tired driver alert system, emergency services alert with vehicle location information, and SYNC connectivity system for smartphone integration are all included in the concept and are expected in the production model.

Ford says the Tourneo Custom Concept is based on a new global platform that has been engineered to deliver “agile, responsive handling, enhanced ride comfort and reduced noise levels”.

The new Ford Transit range will share its styling with the Tourneo. It will go on sale in Australia in the final quarter of 2012.




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