Commercial van sales in the US are down 8% in 2021, trailing the overall market which is up 3%. As a result, the share of commercial vans of the overall US car market is down to 2.6%, from 2.9% in 2020. After Q3, sales of commercial vans were still up on the year before, but in Q4 deliveries were down 34% in an overall market down 21%. Small vans are down 5% while full-sized vans are down 8%.
Traditional class leader Ford Transit sees a 24% drop in deliveries and drops below the 100,000 mark for the first time since its launch. It was down 45% in Q4 and its full-year share of the class is down 6.6 percentage points to 31.4%. The RAM ProMaster is up 25% to its highest sales and share since it was introduced in North America, at 20% share. The old-timer Chevrolet Express finished 2021 with a 57% drop in deliveries in Q4, which led to a 20% decline for the year, to just 44,300 units. This is a new record low for the nameplate and barely enough to finish the year on the podium, as the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is up 4% and less than 800 deliveries behind the Express. Even the other old-timer Ford E-Series outsold the Express in Q4 and finishes the year stable, also at record-low levels. The only good news coming from the old-style vans is the GMC Savana which is surprisingly up 17% on last year, thanks to a 37% jump in Q4. Production of the Nissan NV ended in 2021 and it dropped to nearly zero in Q4, leading to a 25% decline for the year.
In the compact commercial van part of the segment, which accounts for 17.6% of total van sales in the US (up from 17% in 2020), we see similar trends as with large vans. For one, Ford’s dominance is also shrinking as the Transit Connect is down 25% and loses over 10 percentage points of share while RAM is making great inroads. The ProMaster City is up 40% to nearly the level it enjoyed in 2016 and 2017 but at a much higher share of the small van class at 21.5%. Thirdly, sales of the Nissan NV200 have come to all but a stop, with just 440 deliveries in Q4 as the model is pulled from the US market. It’s still up 1%, showing how stable sales of the little Nissan van have been: between 17,300 and 18,600 for seven straight years. The Mercedes-Benz Metris is up 9% to its highest sales since it was launched in the US in 2016.
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