Sales in the Large Commercial Vans segment rose by 15.4 percent in 2016 to 377,971 vehicles, the highest level they have been in the past decade. While 2017 is unlikely to bring any big changes to the segment lineup, sales are likely to continue rising at the clear expense of the Small Commercial Vans segment, as long as gas prices don’t rise too quickly.
Car sales statistics for the commercial van segment in the US, updated every quarter.
Sales in the Small Commercial Vans segment fell by 10.4 percent in 2016 to 84,408 vehicles, the first time that annual sales in the segments have declined since Ford Transit Connect kicked-off the segment as we know right now in 2009. Low fuel costs are holding back sales as American business generally prefer Large Commercial Vans or Pickup Trucks instead. With no likely new entrants in 2017, the segment’s fortune depends square on customers’ expectation of what gas prices will do in the near future.
Sales in the Large Commercial Vans segment rose by 15 percent in Q3 to 89,788 vehicles. This continues a good trend for the segment, whose sales have increased by 18 percent so far this year, and comes at a clear expense of the Small Commercial Vans segment, which barely grew over the same time period.
Sales in the Small Commercial Vans segment fell by 14 percent in Q3 2016 to 19,466 vehicles, a reversal of fortune after registering an average sales growth of 8 percent in the first half of the year. Low fuel costs are holding back sales as American business generally prefer Large Commercial Vans or Pickup Trucks instead. Still, the segment has gained sales year to date, and it may be that, in preparation for the holiday season, sales will yet rebound in 2016.
Sales of Large Commercial Vans in the US rose by 13% in Q1 2016 to 104,535 vehicles, after an impressive 28% gain in Q1. At +19% in the first half, the large vans therefore not only outsell, but also outgrow the small commercial vans which show an 8% growth rate. Low fuel prices undoubtedly have lured businesses to the larger vans, although the more efficient Euro-style vans from Ford, FCA and Mercedes-Benz continue to win market share from the old-fashioned truck-based body-on-frame vans from GM and Nissan.
Sales of Small Commercial Vans in the US rose by 6% in Q2 2016 to 24,162 vehicles, after an increase of 11% in the first quarter. Low fuel costs are weighing down on the segment, as some businesses might prefer a large cargo van instead. Still, considering their practical size for small deliveries and their manoeuverability, I believe there’s a market for vans this size in the US as well. The Mercedes-Benz Metris (as the Vito is called in the US) falls right inbetween the two cargo van segments, but its premium pricing puts in closer to the large commercial van segment. Bear in mind these figures also include the passenger versions of these vehicles, an area where Ford is particularly strong with the Transit Connect, and which Nissan is trying to break through with its taxi versions of the NV200, most notably as the new standard for New York City cabs.
Sales of Large Cargo Vans in the US rose by 28% in Q1 2016 to 86,460 vehicles, considerably faster than the 11% rate of growth recorded by the Small Cargo Van segment. While most models in the segment gained sales over this period, the standout remains the Ford Transit, which now accounts for 40% of the market.
Sales of Small Cargo Vans in the US rose by 11% in Q1 2016 to 22,585 vehicles, a faster rate of growth than the market overall, but considerably slower than the 28% recorded by the Large Cargo Van segment. In fact, there is a sense that the smaller segment may be loosing out the short term battle, as customers take advantage of lower fuel costs and move to the new, and super-popular Ford Transit.
The Full-size Cargo Van segment grew 13.5% in 2015 to 327,551 units, which is the highest volume since 2006, thanks to the confidence businesses have in the economy and to widely available credit. As we’ve discussed in our sales surprises of 2015, Euro-vans are taking over the segment that was once dominated by just 3 body-on-frame vans from two manufacturers: the Ford E-series, Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana. Mercedes-Benz was the first to see the potential and brought the Sprinter to the US market under the Freightliner and Dodge names in 2001, but Ford has caused a breakthrough when it replaced the aging E-series with the Transit in 2014. The change-over has gone smooth, as combined sales of the models were stable in 2014 and increased 36% in 2015, giving the Transit the lead of the segment by a large margin (36% share of the segment).… Continue Reading …
The Small Cargo Vans segment has grown 37.6% in 2015 to 94,167 sales thanks to three new entrants in the past three years and continued improvement of the segment leader. The first generation Ford Transit Connect basically started the segment in the United States in 2009 and has seen its sales grow every year since. The second generation Connect increased sales another 21% last year to top 50,000 sales for the first time and thus hold on to more than 55% of the segment, a figure which will continue to drop as the competition is getting better established.… Continue Reading …