the e-350,450,550 chassis cab is the backbone of the rv motorized c industry. the transit and sprinter cutaway cannot handle the BIG c's
so the e-350 and the cutaways will be made for a long,long time
The main drivers for the E series for general work purposes is it's cheapness and familiarity. Transits are OK for Class B's and some smaller Motorhomes. We use light Japanese Trucks for bigger Class C's(31-32ft Long,27,000lb GCWR, tow roughly 8000lb). Their are cutaways for the Transit.Maybe the proposed T450-T550 models are going to replace the E450?. Like the Sprinter , The Transit does not have a E450 equivalent. What type of engine is going to power the T450/550?
* This post was
edited 04/12/12 01:49pm by RobertRyan *
Companies, over the last 30 years, have invested decades of engineering work in adapting the E series to numerous specialized vehicles.
From carpet cleaning vehicles (with an industrial cleaner mounted inside), to vehicles that do a zillion of jobs.
Fittings of shelves, special adapters, jigs, tools, and things that just have to be re-done from scratch for a new vehicle.
In the land of the Oz, you never had the benefit of a single line of trucks that hardly changed over 30 years --- and with it.. the accumulated engineering, special fittings that all just work.
So it is much more than familiarity --- it is a major expense to switch to another chassis and OEMs are not about to throw money out the window that they MAY or may not recuperate.
Then there is the issue of cheapness.
The E series is not only cheap to buy, but cheap to own because parts are not generally proprietary, widely available, well distributed, and techs know how to work with it.
Basically it still comes down to cheapness and familiarity. The E-Series Van as a general work vehicle would be a total failure here,(from what I saw in the US) but I can see how it has become an integral part of US work culture.Change would be very problematic for companies under a lot of economic duress and "jumping into the unknown" would be made with a fair bit of trepidation. The Transit has a lot more variations than the E-Series, making a lot more adaptable. Still for a lot of businesses in the US, it is a case of sticking with what you know.
Suppose I have a set of designs, validated over 30 years for what I need.
There are millions of engineering hours invested in those designs, @ an average minimum cost of $300 to $500 an hour.
What about tooling costs?
If I have to redo the tooling for new fittings for the Transit, how much is that going to cost?
The E series sold over 5.2 million units since 1961.
My point not a great time , to start something new. The "validated over 30 years for what I need." does not take into consideration changing circumstances i.e equipment to fix VHS players. Basically a lot of work practices in the US, I found more conservative, a lot less willing to change. So the Transit will struggle, although the E-Series is a Dinosaur and much less capable and adaptable than the Transit, it will still be bought by the bulk of businesses.