Sales of large passenger vans in Europe continue their double digit growth thanks to ongoing success of existing models and a rejuvenation of a number of players. The three top sellers all grow slower than the segment and lose share but remain dominant with a combined 54,6% share (down from 68,6%). The Volkswagen Transporter T6 and its luxury derivative Multivan add just 3% to their sales of last year but still sell more than twice the volume of their closest rival. Even when combining the Mercedes-Benz Vito Tourer with its luxury derivative V-Class, Volkswagen maintains a comfortable lead. The Fiat Ducato in third place still depends on campervan conversions for most of its sales. However, the Ducato would be off the podium if we combined sales of the Renault quadruplets Trafic, Vivaro, Talento and all-new NV300.
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PSA is also finally getting some success, thanks to a new generation of its vans: the Peugeot Traveller and Citroën Spacetourer have been well-received and are racking up monthly sales figures their predecessors could only dream of, and the same can be said of their third sibling Toyota Proace. Despite this renewed competition, the Ford Tourneo Custom also keeps improving, as it doubles up to retain its 7th place. Even the Hyundai Starex, one of the segment’s oldest models and never successful in Europe, has found sudden success as sales have tripled on the first quarter of 2016.
Sales of small car-based vans (or van-based cars, however you choose to look at it) are up 9% in the first quarter of 2017, and here too VW stays the commanding leader of the segment. In fact the Volkswagen Caddy even extends its leadership as it increases faster than the segment average, while the #2 Citroën Berlingo is down 4%, which is actually not even that bad if you consider the current generation is already in its 9th year. However, the Dacia Dokker is closing in quickly with sales up 31% and just 850 units behind the Berlingo. In January and February, the Dokker even outsold its French rival, but the Berlingo had a monster month of March to hold on to its second place. Its rebadged Peugeot, the Partner (Ranch in the UK) is also down, by 8% but the PSA twins remain the best selling “ludospace” when combined.
The Renault Kangoo slightly recovers from its loss in 2016 but stays in fifth place, while the Fiat Qubo maintains its sudden strong form that started last September after 5 years of continuous decline. In the first quarter, Fiat’s smallest van is up 46%, despite being already 9 years old. What’s also curious about this phenomenon is that the Qubo’s clones Citroën Nemo and Peugeot Bipper don’t share its success, as both are down with double digits to almost irrelevant figures: less than 1% share of the segment combined. The Nissan NV200 and Mercedes-Benz Citan add more than a third to their volumes in the same period last year, but remain relative niche players at the bottom of the ranking.
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