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.
Highlights in H1 2016:
- Sales of the ultra-dominant Ford Transit rose by 36% compared to the first half of 2015, as the popularity of the Transit keeps growing. It now commands a 41% share of the segment, compared to 36% last year.
- Despite its age and its prehistoric technology, the Chevrolet Express managed a 22% increase, although that’s still a far cry from the 100,000+ annual sales the model racked up a decade ago. General Motors still hasn’t revealed its strategy to replace the Express, either with another truck-based van or with a unibody van, and if that will be developed in-house or sourced from another manufacturer.
- Sales of the Ram ProMaster increased 35% to grab fourth place ahead of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (sales down 2%) and the GMC Savana (sales down 18%).
- The Savana had been outsold by the Nissan NV in the first quarter, when the latter improved 22%, but struck back in Q2 despite sales down 15% for the GMC and a 2% increase for the Nissan.
- The mid-sized Mercedes-Benz Metris is still gaining traction in the market place, with an average of less than 500 sales a month.