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.
Highlights for 2016:
- Sales of the undisputed segment leader, Ford Transit Connect, fell by 17 percent compared to 2016, though it still outsold the second-placed Nissan NV200 by close to a factor of 3-to-1
- Ram ProMaster City, which closed to within 100 units of the Nissan in Q2, fell behind in the second half of the year, with Q4 sales a full 30 percent lower than in the same period in 2015
- Sales of Chevrolet City Express, a rebadged Nissan NV200 which sold almost as many units in 2015 as the ProMasterCity, nose-dived in the second half of the year (down 63 percent), leaving its total sales for 2016 less than half of what its Ram competitor managed