Despite the continuing challenges presented by a struggling economy, 2011 saw a significant increase in profits at Ford in the US, largely thanks to strong sales of new Ford vans and trucks.
The classic Ford F-Series truck, which has been going strong since 1948, saw yearly sales up by an astonishing 11%. This excellent result can largely be attributed to the introduction of a new, turbocharged EcoBoost V-6 engine into the model. The EcoBoost has enjoyed great success since its release in 2009; boasting 20% improved fuel economy and 15% lower greenhouse emissions, the concept has truly revolutionised both car and van engines.
December was an especially good month for Ford's US van range, with the Econoline recording a rise in sales of 34%, with a yearly increase equivalent of 8%.
With such impressive performances in the company's home country, along with continued success for Transit vans across Europe, 2011 confirmed that automobile manufacture - and van manufacture in particular - is, more than ever, an integral part of the global economy.