News: US automaker Ford Motor has unveiled its 2014 Transit Connect Taxi in North America, Automotive News reports. Consisting of a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, the 2014 taxi is due to hit US dealerships by early 2014. Ford says the new vehicle is available with an engine prep package, priced at US$300, that converts to compressed natural gas/liquefied petroleum gas. Ford allows members of its Qualified Vehicle Modifier programme to modify vehicles without negating the factory-set calibrations.
BMI View: Better than expected growth of 17.0% y-o-y for US light vehicle sales in August is putting the market ever closer to its historical norm of 16mn units. Backed by positive economic data for the month, there is reason to suggest improving consumer sentiment will carry the market through the remainder of the year. Consequently, we have revised our forecast upward slightly, to a total of 15.7mn units for 2013.