LARGEST U.S. ICE MANUFACTURER, DISTRIBUTOR OPTS FOR FUEL EFFICIENCY OF FORD TRANSIT CONNECT
CONTEXT / BACKGROUND
Reddy Ice Holdings, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is the largest manufacturer and distributor of packaged ice in the United States. One of the company’s products is the Ice Factory, a stand-alone machine that dispenses packaged ice.
Looking for a “greener,” more affordable van to replace some of the vehicles currently in its fleet, including Dodge Sprinters and Chevrolet HHRs, Ready Ice opted for the Ford Transit Connect. The company’s technicians will now drive Transit Connects to service and maintain the thousands of Ice Factory machines throughout the country.
For more information about Reddy Ice, please visit www.reddyice.com.
Reddy Ice Holdings, the largest manufacturer and distributor of packaged ice in the United States, employs more than 2,000 people year-round. The company sells its products primarily under the widely known Reddy Ice brand to a variety of customers in 32 states and the District of Columbia.
One of the company’s products is the Ice Factory ice-dispensing machine. There are several thousand machines at various locations throughout the country that need to be serviced and maintained on a regular basis.
The Ice Factory service fleet consists of 250 vehicles, most of them traditional cargo vans. According to Lee Hatch, Reddy Ice corporate fleet manager, Ice Factory service technicians rack up between 25,000 and 50,000 miles annually on each vehicle, and he needed to find a vehicle that could begin to replace some of the large, gas-guzzling vans in the fleet.
Hatch says he spent a great deal of time researching vehicles. His primary criteria were environmental impact, fuel efficiency, cargo-carrying space and vehicle cost.
He chose the Ford Transit Connect because it provides ample cargo-carrying capacity in a compact vehicle. It also offers much better fuel economy and is more environmentally friendly than traditional cargo vans.
Hatch says he also appreciates the Transit Connect’s compact size, which makes the vehicle easier for drivers to maneuver and park. And the price is affordable. Hatch says that in many instances, he can buy two Transit Connects for the same price as one traditional cargo van.
Hatch upfitted his 17 Transit Connects with storage bins for parts and tools. Some of the vehicles have accommodations for refrigeration tanks and equipment.
The response from Ice Factory service technicians driving the Transit Connect has been positive. And future plans are to continue to expand the number of Transit Connects in the Ice Factory fleet.
Ford’s Transit Connect enjoys a global reputation for durability and toughness dating back to its 2003 launch, when an expert jury of European commercial vehicle journalists dubbed it International Van of the Year.
Ford’s Transit Connect is powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 engine with a four-speed automatic overdrive transmission. The vehicle offers double the fuel economy of full-size vans with a rating of 22 mpg city and 25 highway.
The versatile Transit Connect is a global Ford product that can be adapted to multiple commercial business applications. It has more than double the cargo-carrying space of the Chevrolet HHR Panel, and it offers users a cargo payload of up to 1,600 pounds, which means that it can carry a larger payload than the full-size Dodge Ram 1500 standard-cab short-box pickup truck.
The Transit Connect is available now at Ford dealerships throughout the country.
“We’re just getting our toes wet with the Transit Connect, but so far we’re very pleased with what we’ve seen.”
– Lee Hatch, corporate fleet manager, Reddy Ice
“Transit Connect was developed to bring small business owners a new vehicle choice, offering significantly improved fuel economy and generous and accessible cargo space with the agility and maneuverability to deliver the goods in tight quarters.”
– Rob Stevens, chief nameplate engineer, Ford Transit Connect|
Additional images available at www.media.ford.com
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 200,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com
About Reddy Ice
Reddy Ice Holdings Inc. is the largest manufacturer and distributor of packaged ice in the United States. With more than 2000 year-round employees, the Company sells its products primarily under the widely known Reddy Ice® brand to a variety of customers in 32 states and the District of Columbia. The Company provides a broad array of product offerings in the marketplace through traditional direct store delivery, warehouse programs and its proprietary technology, The Ice Factory®. Reddy Ice serves most significant consumer packaged goods channels of distribution, as well as restaurants, special entertainment events, commercial users and the agricultural sector.