The growth of the large passenger van segment in Europe slows down but is still in double digit territory thanks to ongoing success of existing models and a rejuvenation of a number of players. A 14% growth in Q3 brings the year-to-date figure for the first nine months of 2017 to nearly 196.000 sales, up 28% on the year before. The dominant segment leaders Volkswagen Transporter T6 and its luxury derivative Multivan continue to lose share with a 1% decline in sales in the third quater and just a 3% gain so far this year. VW’s share of the segment has reduced from almost one third of the segment to just over a quarter (from 32,7% to 26,4%). They still sell over double the volume of their closest rival, which was the Fiat Ducato in Q2 and Q3 thanks to campervan sales. The Ducato improves by 17% in the third quarter to outsell the Mercedes-Benz V-Class, but not by a large margin. Its year-to-date lead is large enough to be comfortable in 2nd place, even if we know its Q4 sales are traditionally half of those in Q3. Combining sales of the luxury V-Class with those of its more utilitarian version Vito Tourer, as VW does as well, Mercedes-Benz would be in 2nd place, still almost 12.000 sales behind the segment leader.
The Renault Trafic and Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro twins gain market share as both grow by about 20% in the third quarter despite the addition of two more clones with the Fiat Talento and Nissan NV300, which are much lower in volume. Combined, the four models now take fourth place in the segment behind the Fiat Ducato and its twin models Peugeot Boxer and Citroën Jumper. We don’t have exact figures of these two, but they should combine for about 5.000 additional sales so far this year. In fifth place of the combined ranking are the PSA-Toyota triplets with the Peugeot Traveller and Citroën Spacetourer taking the bulk of the volume and the Toyota Proace Verso a bit further behind. These models have now celebrated their first anniversary and have proven to be much more successful than their predecessors. In fact, the Traveller has already sold more units in just the first 7 months of 2017 than the best full year of the Expert Tepee. The – dare I say it? – “German” styling of these models must surely help, as their design is so much more passenger car than plumbers’ van.
Sales of small car-based vans (or van-based cars, however you choose to look at it) are up 7% in the first nine months of 2017, to nearly 188.000 sales, after a 3% gain in Q3. Here too VW stays the commanding leader of the segment but loses a bit of share. The Volkswagen Caddy sees stable sales in the third quarter and a 6% gain so far this year. That means it still outperforms its closest rival Citroën Berlingo, down 3% YTD. When combining the Berlingo with its twin Peugeot Partner (Ranch in the UK), the French duo is in first place of the segment, although their share diminishes from 29,5% to 26,7% as the current generations are already 9 years old and due for a redesign. The big performer in this segment this year is the Dacia Dokker, up 27% in Q3 and closing in quickly on the #2 spot. It outsells its family member (but technically unrelated) Renault Kangoo by more than a 2-to-1 ratio. The Kangoo’s clone Mercedes-Benz Citan stabilizes in Q3 but is still up 12% for the year, while the Nissan NV200 Evalia outsells the Fiat Doblo in the third quarter despite losing 15%, but it’s is still in positive territory for the year. In the smaller subsegment the Ford Tourneo Courier still leads ahead of the Fiat Qubo, while sales of the Qubo’s French clones have all but come to a halt.
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