Sapphire Edition honours 45 years of Ford Transit

To honour the long-running van, a special edition ‘Sapphire’ version has been produced at the Southampton plant.

Ford’s European manufacturing vice president, Ken Macfarlane visited the Southampton site to see the Sapphire roll off the production lines.

He said: “It’s great to be here in Southampton as 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.”

The Sapphire Transit is named after the Sapphire wedding anniversary, which comes after 45 years of marriage – a tribute to a British tradition.

All models include a Silver-painted mirror caps, rear light guards and front grille with body colour bumper as well as air conditioning, front fog lights, bodyside mouldings, tinted glass, full wheel covers, electric windows, heated windscreen, CD player, Bluetooth, cruise control and steel bulkhead.

The Sapphire Transit is available in short, medium and long wheelbases with engines ranging from a 115Ps 2.2-litre TDCi to a 115PS 2.4-litre TDCi. All engines are fitted with a six-speed gearbox.

In total, 1,500 Sapphire models will be produced at the Southampton plant. The vans will be priced at £14,995.

Over 2.1 million Transit vans have been sold in the UK since it was first introduced in 1965. After six million sales worldwide, plants in Southampton, China and Turkey staged simultaneous celebrations. The six millionth van was produced at the Otosan Ihsanuye plant in Turkey.

The Transit will be built in Turkey from as early as next year, with chassis’ continuing to be produced at the Southampton plant. Ford has also announced plans for an electric Transit to be sold in Europe.