The Ford Ranger is Australia’s best-selling ute, and the Blue Oval says the Transit Custom has all the ingredients to be our market’s best-selling van.

    “I think there’s no doubt that it has all the hallmarks of a commercial leadership position for vans, absolutely,” said Ford Australia’s general manager for fleet, Christine Wagner.

    That position is currently occupied by the Toyota HiAce, which last year had a 35.3 per cent share of the medium van segment in which the Transit Custom currently competes.

    Its 7133 sales were well above all its rivals, including not only the third-place Transit Custom (2843 sales, 14.1 per cent share) but also the second-place LDV G10 (3638 sales, 18 per cent share) and fourth-place Hyundai Staria Load (2497 sales, 12.3 per cent share).

    The company has confirmed it’ll have strong supply of the Transit Custom, thanks to an expansion of production facilities in Türkiye where it’s built.

    “One of the strengths of HiAce has been the fact that they’ve had excellent supply, so if you needed a van you were able to access one and you were able to access it rapidly,” said Ms Wagner.

    “I think we just need to do a great job of showcasing [the Transit Custom’s benefits], and I suspect there’ll be a lot of customers – HiAce included, probably others – that will come along for the ride.”

    The Transit Custom will have something the HiAce won’t, come the fourth quarter of this year: an electric version.

    The Ford E-Transit Custom will battle the likes of the Peugeot E-Expert and Mercedes-Benz eVito in the growing but still low-volume electric van market in Australia.

    However, Ford hasn’t confirmed the plug-in hybrid Transit Custom for our market.

    “Right now, we think the BEV is the right solution for Australia at the right time, and we really want to maximise its opportunity for success,” said Ms Wagner.

    The new-generation Transit Custom’s plug-in hybrid system is related to that used in the recently discontinued Escape.

    Despite this, Ford hasn’t developed a conventional hybrid version of its new medium van despite such a powertrain being offered in the European-market Kuga (aka Escape).

    Toyota, in contrast, has previously confirmed it plans to launch a hybrid HiAce, but its deadline is 2030.

    MORE: Everything Ford Transit Custom

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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