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.
Highlights for Q1-Q3 2016:
- The undisputed segment leader, Ford Transit Connect, continues to lose sales (down 8 percent since the beginning of the year), but still outsold the second-placed Nissan NV200 by a factor of 2-to-1
- Ram ProMaster City, which closed to within 100 units of the Nissan in Q2, fell behind in the third quarter, selling only around 3,000 units to its competitor’s 4,200 units
- Sales of Chevrolet City Express, a rebadged Nissan NV200, nose-dived in Q3 (down 69 percent), a disasterous performance for the model. A likely explanation is that the vast majority of the cars go to fleet sales, which are usually highest in the first part of the year.