Confirmed: 2021 Ford small van will be based on new VW Caddy

  • Replacement for Transit Connect and Transit Courier
  • Will be built by Volkswagen on Ford’s behalf, on sale 2021
  • Becomes the first product from the VW-Ford alliance to go on sale

Next small Ford van will be based on the VW Caddy and built by Volkswagen

We’ve long suspected it, but a new announcement that Ford and Volkswagen have formally signed to expand their global alliance has come with news that the next Ford small van will be based on the all-new Volkswagen Caddy.

What’s more, this will actually become the first product of the VW-Ford alliance (Project Cyclone, as it’s known to insiders), arriving on the road in 2021 – ahead of the joint Ford-VW pickup that will become the next Ranger and Amarok.

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So Ford’s next small Transit van will be a Volkswagen?

This we’ve known since the alliance was first announced in June 2018, when Ford and Volkswagen revealed they would be working together to jointly produce future vans and pickups (as well as sharing some car technology). Even then they revealed that Ford would be taking the lead on large vans and pickups, while VW would lead on the next small van.

What we didn’t know officially until this point was that the new Caddy revealed in February 2020 (below) would form the basis of the joint small van, nor that the first Ford-VW joint product would appear quite so soon.

The all-new Volkswagen Caddy, on sale in Europe in 2020, on sale in the UK in 2021

After all, this Caddy – which is all-new from the ground up – would have been in development for quite some time, and until this point all the official statements on the alliance have pointed to the pickups being the first joint vehicles planned to go on sale.

Do we know what the new Ford small van will be called?

This hasn’t been confirmed, but the new model is likely to replace both the Transit Courier and the Transit Connect – with this latest announcement describing the model as a ‘city’ van.

We don’t know but suspect it will simply be called the Transit Connect. What this means for the Transit Courier, well, we’ll have to wait and see.

Will Ford have had much input into the new Caddy’s design?

There has been no announcement about this yet, but we do know that there are Volkswagen engineers embedded at Ford’s technical centre in Dunton and Ford engineers working within VW in Germany.

On top of which, right from the very beginning of the news about the global alliance, both firms have been adamant that the vehicles they produce will retain distinct brand identities. What this means in reality remains to be seen (if you pardon the pun), but we’re expecting the two vans to look quite different.

At this stage there are no technical or engineering details about what the two vans will share beyond the basic structure – so whether the Ford version will use Volkswagen engines remains unknown at this stage.

But VW will be building the van for both companies, so this does seem more likely than not; there’s no reason for it to be seen as a bad thing, either, as the new Caddy has some particularly advanced engines.

We’ll bring you more information as soon as it’s available.

Also read:

>> All-new Volkswagen Caddy – full details

>> Ford and VW global alliance to build vans and pickups

>> New VW Amarok – Volkswagen teases first picture of next-gen 2022 pickup

>> Next-gen Ford Ranger – leaked photos

>> Shots fired: how Ford plans to sell even more vans in the future

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