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A Transit for the rest of us

Ford Motor Company is getting back into the minivan segment.

Except, Ford is adamantly refusing to call its Transit Connect Wagon a "minivan."

Instead, the company says the seven passenger van is a "people-mover." 

The company believes the wagon will appeal to young families, most likely people who grew up in the back of a minivan themselves and are looking for something different.

Ford says the wagon boasts better fuel economy than the Toyota Sienna minivan.

Ford has been questioned, frequently, for its decision to leave the minivan market years ago. 

But executives say that segment, already shrinking, will shrink even further in the future as people continue the trend of buying smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles.

Ford believes Toyota and Honda have left the customer behind, with minivans that are too large and too expensive for most people.

The company says this will be the first people mover to reach 30 mpg on the highway.

Ford isn't releasing the final price, but promises it will be priced thousands less than the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna minivans.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.