But the minivans on the market do not offer what customers want in terms of price of fuel economy, Thai-Tang said.
Toyota, Honda and other minivan manufacturers have left today's customers behind with inefficient people movers that are too large and too expensive, he said.
The 2013 Sienna starts around $26,400 while the Odyssey starts around $28,500. Ford did not provide the Transit Connect's price, but said it will cost thousands less than the Toyota and Honda minivans.
Ford expects the Transit Connect will get 30 mpg on the highway. It has more than 100 cubic feet of cargo space and will be offered in five- and seven-person configurations with the option of a rear lift-gate or side-hinged cargo doors.