End Of Ford Econoline Van Marks Shift For Automaker

The end of the Ford Econoline van marks the retirement for a long-serving, sturdy hauler and a shift toward a more European style of vans for American buyers.

Ford has announced that the body-on-frame, E-Series van will be gone after a very long run, Yahoo! Autos Motoramic noted.

There will likely be few tears shed at the end of the Ford Econoline van, Motoramic noted, as the “most famous and most geriatric” hauler looked like it belonged in the 70s.

After the Econoline van completes the 2013 model year, Ford plans to shift to its unibody transit van it has been selling in Europe and throughout the world. The automaker will start building its full-size Transit van in Kansas City starting next year, replacing the E-Series that has been a standard for the past 32 years.

The move is a smart one, Motoramic notes. Chrysler already made a similar move with its Ram vans, basing its new American models off of Fiat models the Doblo and Ducato. Ford’s following suit marks “meaningful progress along the slow road to a more rational US fleet,” the report notes.

The end of the Ford Econoline van could also show a shift toward a more European style of vans. Buyers there were able to see new models of vans every five or six years, but American buyers saw little changes from year to year. Automakers simply stuck with what worked and tried little else.

The Econoline series buyers saw today dated back to 1992 with the last major update coming in 2008 when Ford lengthened the front end, Fox News noted.

There were some other factors that contributed to the end of the Ford Econoline vans, Fox News noted. New fuel efficiency standards have brought about general re-designs in vans.