DEARBORN, MI - Michigan-based Mancuso Florists has benefited from the fuel efficiency of its Ford Transit Connect, which has helped the business cut down on fuel costs while maximizing deliveries.
"It costs us about $30 to fill the gas tank in the Transit Connect," said Frank Mancuso, proprietor of Mancuso Florists in St. Clair Shores, Mich. "It costs us about $70 to fill the tank in one of our full-size vans. A full tank lasts around the same time in either vehicle, so delivery costs are significantly reduced by using the Transit Connect."
The Ford Transit Connect global compact van is built on a dedicated front-wheel-drive commercial platform, developed to meet the unique needs of small business owners, according to the automaker. Powered by a proven 2.0L Duratec I-4 engine, mated to a four-speed automatic overdrive transaxle, the van delivers 22 city, 25 highway EPA-rated mpg. The vehicle also provides 135.3 cubic feet of cargo space and a payload capacity of up to 1,600 lbs.
Available with or without side and rear windows, Transit Connect can be configured and upfitted to meet the specialized needs of a flower shop. A low load floor and split rear cargo doors - opening at a standard 180 degrees or an optional 255 - ease loading and deliveries alike, Ford said.
"While reduced delivery costs are critical, Transit Connect offers other key advantages for floral retailers," said Bruce Wright, editor of Flowers Magazine. "Small overall dimensions make Transit Connect much more maneuverable than traditional full-size vans, key in urban markets. It's easier to handle and much simpler to park, reducing driver stress."
Transit Connect also conveys the right image for a florist. "A full-size van is almost invisible, because they're everywhere," observed Mancuso. "But all kinds of people notice our Transit Connect. Our drivers get so many inquiries about the vehicle, we hand out cards with information about it. Transit Connect serves as a 'rolling billboard' for our business."
In August, Ford's sales for the Transit Connect jumped 432-percent over the previous month's figures.