Once segment golden boy Ford Transit suffers double-digit sales decline while segment grows slowlyOverall sales of Commercial Vans in the US fell again in the second quarter of 2017, albeit at a slower pace than in the first quarter, resulting in a cumulative drop in sales of 3.2% YTD. However, this is mainly due to sales decline in the small commercial vans sector – sales in the large commercial vans sector have been growing so far in 2017, albeit at a leisurely 0.5% pace overall.
Highlights for the first half of 2017:
- After achieving tremendous sales growth since its launch in the US in 2014, sales of Ford Transit have started declining in 2017, and at quite the rate of knots too: they were 15.4% lower in the first half of the year than at the same time in 2016 – this makes it one of the only two models to lose sales this year, and the only one for which the fall was in the double-digits
- Contrary to what most everyone predicted, the ancient Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana twins, as well as Ford’s own E-series, have not been wiped clear from the segment with the arrival of the Transit – on the contrary, all three have gained sales so far in 2017, with the Savana in particular gaining over 45% in sales
- Another great performer in the segment is Ram ProMaster, a derivative of the European Fiat Ducato, which gained 27% in sales YTD, a much better performance than Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which before Chrysler was taken over by FCA was sold in the US under the Dodge brand
- Sales of the Nissan NV, based in part on the previous-generation Nissan Titan, have risen slightly this year, almost matching those of its smaller brother, Nissan NV200
- Finally, sales of Mercedes-Benz Metris have fallen by 6% so far this year despite the model’s relative newness, leaving it dead last in the segment by a wide margin, suggesting consumers do not think there is space for a “mid-sized” Mercedes-Benz van in the market