ATLANTA – Ford introduced an upgraded E-Series for 2009 at the NTEA 2008 Work Truck Show, featuring an improved interior and the automaker’s new Ford Work Solutions, a collection of electronic tools to manage fleets more efficiently, track and secure tools, and enhance productivity, according to the automaker.

Interior updates include a redesigned instrument panel and console; increased storage, built-in, customizable auxiliary switches; wider-opening rear doors; more comfortable seats; and a factory-installed navigation system. In particular, the center console doubles the usable storage space of earlier E-Series vans and now features an integrated clipboard holder, space for a laptop, and three larger cup holders.

The Ford Work Solutions system offers four technologies:

  • A broadband in-dash computer with high-speed Internet access capability and available wireless accessories, including a mouse and printer.
  • Tool Link, a radio frequency identification (RFID) asset tracking system allowing fleet operators to maintain a detailed real-time inventory of tools or equipment stored in the vehicle.
  • Crew Chief, a fleet telematics and diagnostics system.
  • Cable Lock, a security system developed in partnership with Master Lock to secure large tools or equipment in the E-Series van and wagon cargo areas.

Integrated into the E-Series instrument panel with a 6.5-inch touch screen display, the navigation system is available with SIRIUS satellite radio.

The reverse camera system, activated when the van is shifted into reverse, gives drivers a clear view behind the vehicle, displayed on the navigation screen or in the self-dimming rearview mirror. Centerline and colored guidelines provide an improved perspective of the vehicle’s centerpoint and periphery.

Other core upgrades include a new rear door system that allows doors to open up to 172 degrees, E-85-capable 4.6L and 5.4L engines, and a new optional dash-mounted front passenger airbag cutoff switch on vans and cutaways, standard AdvanceTRac with roll stability control.

Manufactured at Ford’s Avon Lake, Ohio, assembly plant, the 2009 Ford E-Series will be available in August.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet