By Drew Johnson
Wednesday, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 9:45 am
 

Ford announced earlier this week that its latest Transit Connect Wagon will reach the North American market by 2013, but the van won't be built here.

Due to overcapacity issues in North America and just the opposite in Europe, Ford will build the Transit Connect Wagon at its plant in Valencia, Spain.

Ford's North American factories are currently running at 114 percent capacity, compared to around 50 percent at the Valencia facility. The decision to produce the Transit Connect Wagon in Spain promises to reduce the burden on Ford's already overtaxed North American factories while helping the company's underutilized European operations.

"There's minimal room here even though they could squeeze it in if they needed to," Joe Langley, an automotive forecaster at Troy-based LMC Automotive, told The Detroit News. "The volume doesn't warrant retooling here, too, especially with the capacity constraints."

Ford's other Transit model, the standard Connect, is built in Turkey. It is currently the only imported vehicle Ford sells in North America.

Ford's hasn't released sales estimates for the Transit Connect Wagon, but the Dearborn-based automaker sold about 32,000 units of the Transit Connect last year.