The small commercial van segment is seeing substantial growth. This year alone, sales have increased by 58% when compared to the same period in 2014
Just a few of the reasons for this growth are higher fuel prices and narrow city streets. Smaller commercial vans are more fuel efficient and can fit into smaller spaces than large trucks, making them much better at performing urban deliveries.
It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise considering that small commercial vans have been quite successful overseas for many years.
Check out the small commercial van segment's sales figures for May 2015 below.
Ford Transit Connect - 4,576
Nissan NV200 - 1,469
Ram ProMaster City - 914
Chevy City Express - 772
Ram Cargo Van - 191
And here are the numbers for the entire year-to-date.
Ford Transit Connect - 19,781
Nissan NV200 - 5,349
Ram ProMaster City - 2,634
Chevy City Express - 3,211
Ram Cargo Van - 2,996
Both the City Express and the ProMaster City are brand new vehicles. This is likely a contributing factor to them being a little behind when it comes to sales. Over time sales should increase a bit as people become more aware of the product. I also imagine that being a rebadged version of the NV200 is holding back the City Express slightly.
An interesting thing about this segment is that it was focused on in NA largely because of the feedback from customers and dealers.
Dealers played a big role in encouraging automakers to offer such vehicles. “We’ve had feedback from dealers all around the country,” says Dave Sowers, head of Ram commercial marketing. “They have insights into the market and were telling us that customers were looking for a true commercial vehicle that’ll stand up to the use that they will put it to.