The large passenger van segment in Europe shows booming growth in 2017 at +26% to just over a quarter million sales, helped by fresh product and optimistic views on the economy. The chart toppers Volkswagen Transporter T6 and its luxury derivative Multivan grow just 2% which reduces their share of the segment by 6,1 percentage points to 26,9% but is also a new annual record for the nameplate. In second place the full-sized Fiat Ducato also loses share with a 16% growth rate and sells just over half the volume of the segment leader, distancing the Mercedes-Benz V-Class in third place. Combining the V-Class with its utilitarian version Vito as VW does with its versions too (and as displayed in the graph as opposed to the table below where we split the versions for as far as we know the data), Mercedes would be in 2nd place with 53.000 sales and 21,2% share. The Renault Trafic and its sister model Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro are both up with the latter at the segment average but the former also losing share. The two latest additions to these quadruplets are the Fiat Talento and Nissan NV300, both way behind the two established iterations of the same Renault-developed van.
Note: clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off
The Ford Tourneo Custom shows booming growth at +61% just before a facelift is due in 2018, allowing the model to connect with the top-6 in terms of sales. The newcomers in this segment are the PSA-Toyota triplets Peugeot Traveller, Citroën Spacetourer and Toyota Proace Verso, of which the two French versions land in the top-10 while the Japanese version is stuck in 12th place. Combined, the three newcomers reach fifth place with 24.000 sales. The geriatric Hyundai H1/Starex managed an 11% growth on its already unexpectedly strong 2016 just when we thought the model was about to be discontinued in Europe due to slow sales.
Like the Ducato, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ford Transit Tourneo don’t really belong in this segment as they are one size larger, but this gives us the opportunity to compare them with each other for as long as we don’t have exact data on their rivals. The Ducato is so far ahead of the Sprinter due to its popularity as a base for campervans and mobile homes. There will be a new generation Sprinter in 2018, including an electric version. As said, the Tourneo Custom will be facelifted but for the rest the segment is still pretty fresh and the life cycles for vans are generally longer than for “real” passenger cars.
Sales of small car-based vans (or van-based cars, however you choose to look at it) are up 6% in 2017, to nearly 246.000 sales. Here too VW stays the commanding leader of the segment but loses a bit of share. The Volkswagen Caddy is up 5% and holds more than 23% share of the segment. The Citroën Berlingo is down 5% but holds on to its second place, but when combining it with its sibling model Peugeot Partner/Ranch, the PSA duo lead the segment with a 26% share. Keep in mind these models are already 9 years old and will be replaced in 2018 by an all-new generation, so they are impressively stable. Opel/Vauxhall will get the third version of these new vans, replacing the Fiat Doblo clone Combo (for which we don’t have 2017 data, but the passenger version of the Combo sold just 2.000 units in 2016). The Dacia Dokker consolidates its third place thanks to a gain of 33%, making it the fastest growing model in the segment and extending its streak of annual sales improvements ever since it was launched in 2012. The Renault Kangoo is growing pretty old as well but maintains its sales volume with a 12% gain to stay in the top-5. Its clone Mercedes-Benz Citan is up by an even better 15% but is unable to crack the segment top-10.
Besides the new PSA vans, in 2018 we’ll get facelifted versions of the Tourneo Connect and Courier and perhaps we’ll get the first glimpse of the next generation Kangoo, due in 2019.
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