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Ford Transit 'Sapphire' marks 45 years

30th April 2010 Print
Ford Transit Sapphire

A special edition Transit called 'Sapphire' rolled off the line today at Ford's Southampton plant. At the same time Ford globally celebrated Transit's 6,000,000 sales milestone with simultaneous celebrations in Southampton, Turkey and China. The UK's favourite van turns 45 this year, with more than 2.1 million sales in Britain since it was created in 1965.

Ford's European manufacturing vice president, Ken Macfarlane, handed the keys to the Sapphire to Paul Hendy, managing director of Britain's first Ford dealer which reaches its own 100 years milestone this year. The Hendy Group sells around 3,000 Transits a year, Paul Hendy said: "Transit has been an integral part of the business for many years. As one of the country's leading suppliers of Transit we are thrilled to be involved in such a key milestone for Transit, especially as we celebrate our centenary as a Ford dealer this year."

Ken Macfarlane said: "It's great to be here in Southamptonas Transit reaches another significant milestone. In its lifetime this Plant has addressed many challenges and yet maintained the high quality of its product. This is made possible by a dedicated workforce and I thank them for that."

There is a choice of three models for the limited edition Ford Transit:

280 short wheelbase, low roof, front wheel drive, the 115PS 2.2-litre TDCi diesel engine and a six-speed transmission. 550 available.

280 medium wheelbase, medium roof, front wheel drive, the 115PS 2.2-litre TDCi diesel engine and a six-speed transmission. 350 available.

350 long wheelbase, medium roof, rear wheel drive, 115PS 2.4-litre TDCi diesel engine with a six-speed transmission. 250 available.

The name 'Sapphire' comes from the British tradition of naming wedding anniversaries and linking them to precious materials: 45 years is Sapphire.

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Ford Transit Sapphire