Sales of small van-derived cars (or Ludospace in French) in Europe are up 3% in the first three months of 2014, after a slight decline of 4% over the full year 2013. Traditionally, the cargo versions of these cars sell much better than their passenger versions, but there is a loyal and happy customer base of people looking for an affordable and spacious no-frills car, and who don’t mind the lack of refinement and the utilitarian looks.
The ranking is relatively stable, as the top six has stayed in the same position as they were at the end of last year. That means the Volkswagen Caddy Life is still in the lead after the Citroën Berlingo Multispace enjoyed a short stint at the top position in the beginning of 2013. The margin between the numbers one and two is less than 100 sales, so it should be interesting to see if the Berlingo can keep up this pace until the end of December.
The Peugeot Partner Tepee is still in third, down 5% and threatened by the Renault Kangoo which sees sales increase 21% thanks to its facelift. The biggest gainer of the segment is the relatively new Dacia Dokker, up 35% in its second full year of sales and consolidating its fifth position ahead of the Fiat Qubo.
Another relatively new model that’s on the way up in the rankings is the Mercedes-Benz Citan Combi. Sales of the Renault Kangoo-clone, also in its second full year, are up one third compared to the same period last year.
This year, Ford is making an entrance with two all-new models in the segment: the Tourneo Connect, which will compete with the Caddy Life, Citroën Berlingo etc. and the Tourneo Courier, which will compete with the triplets Fiat Qubo, Citroën Nemo Multispace and Peugeot Bipper Tepee. Both should be able to fight for the lead of their respective subsegments.
Note: Sales of the Opel Combo Tour, a rebadged Fiat Doblo, are not specified.
Volkswagen Caddy Life
Citroën Berlingo Multispace
Peugeot Partner Tepee / Ranch
Nissan NV200 Evalia
Mercedes-Benz Citan Combi
Peugeot Bipper Tepee
Sales of the larger vans, which are mostly used by taxi companies and as camper vans, are up 5% after a 12% decline in 2013.
The increase is carried by a few models showing large gains, but the leader of the segment remains untouched, as the Volkswagen Transporter/Multivan still sells more than twice as many vans as the number two. The Mercedes Vito/Viano, updated last year, is up 23% to hold on to the second place it had by the end of last year.
The Fiat Ducato, mostly sold as a camper van, remains in third position with flat sales, while the Renault Trafic and Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro twins are the two biggest gainers of the segment. One possible explanation could be that they are in run-out mode until the new generations become available later this year, meaning they are an attractive proposition in a segment where price is always a crucial factor.
The Ford Transit Tourneo is down by over 40%, while sales of the new Tourneo Custom are not yet specified, but this new model should be able to easily outsell the outgoing Transit Tourneo.
Note: not all cars in this segment are specified, but with the exception of the Ford Tourneo Custom, most other models are minor players.
Renault Trafic Passenger
Opel / Vauxhall Vivaro Tour
Ford Transit Tourneo
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Combi
Peugeot Expert Tepee
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