US car sales analysis 2019 – Commercial Vans

Sales of commercial vans in the US are up 8% in 2019 to set a new annual sales record for the segment at nearly half a million sales.  Six out of the twelve models als set annual sales records for their nameplates. Like in the large pickup segment, Ford has a dominating lead, owning nearly 40% of the segment with its two models, while the chart topping Ford Transit sells nearly double of its nearest rival. The Transit saw its sales jump 12% to a record 153,800 sales, while the golden oldie Chevrolet Express keeps going strong as despite a 5% decline in sales the model is still above its average annual sales of the last 10 years, not bad for a model first launched in 1995 and last updated in 2004, especially if you consider its twin GMC Savana scored a 23% increase in sales in 2019 which means General Motors actually improved sales of these twins and sold over 100,000 combined units of these vans in the United States for the second consecutive year and only the third time since 2008. Add to this the over 45,000 Ford E-Series and 20,000 Nissan NV Vans we see that 40.6% of all full-sized vans in the US are still of the old-fashioned and inefficient but durable and affordable body-on-frame type, despite the dominance of the unibody Transit and fast growth of the RAM ProMaster. The latter scores a 21% increase in deliveries to set a new annual sales record in the US, as it has done every year since its launch in 2013. That allows the ProMaster to jump to the segment podium ahead of the E-Series. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter was redesigned in 2019 and showed a 7% gain while the Nissan NV sells 18% more than in 2018 as both nameplates set annual sales records.

In the compact commercial van part of the segment, which accounts for just 17.6% of total van sales in the US, Ford also dominates with 47.5% share, thanks to 41,600 sales for the Transit Connect. The Connect was updated with a facelift in 2019 and sales were up 30% on the year before, but that doesn’t break any records as the nameplate sold more units in 2014 to 2016 including the 52,200 sold in 2015. Its nearest rival Nissan NV200 does set a new annual sales record with its gain of just 140 sales to 18,800. The NV200 has improved its annual US sales every year since its launch in 2013 but in minor increments these last few years as the model was already above 18,500 sales in 2016. The RAM ProMaster City is down 6%, having peaked at 15,600 sales in 2015 but slowly declining ever since, to 12,900 in 2019. The Mercedes-Benz Metris is up 17% to set a new record, as it has done every year since its launch in 2016, but it remains below 10,000 sales, while the Chevrolet City Express, a twin of the NV200, has been discontinued due to slow sales. It peaked at just over 10,000 sales only in 2015.

US commercial van sales 2019

Van segment 2019 2018 Change
1 Ford Transit 153.868 137.794 12%
2 Chevrolet Express 77.457 81.239 -5%
3 Ram ProMaster 56.409 46.600 21%
4 Ford E-series 45.063 47.936 -6%
5 Ford Transit Connect 41.598 31.923 30%
6 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 31.851 29.788 7%
7 GMC Savana 24.226 19.684 23%
8 Nissan NV van 20.022 16.902 18%
9 Nissan NV200 18.768 18.628 1%
10 Ram ProMaster City 12.920 13.788 -6%
11 Mercedes-Benz Metris 9.784 8.391 17%
12 Chevrolet City Express 4.495 6.341 -29%
Segment total 496.461 459.014 8%

Source: Manufacturers.