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Old 01-06-2015, 09:03 PM   #1
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Default Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

It didn't take long but the Ford Transit has become the best selling van in America with 10,030 sold in December.

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Those 10,000 sales put the Transit head and shoulders above all of its competitors in the crowded commercial van market. Second place went to the Chevrolet Express with 5,611 sales in December, and the ancient Ford E-Series was third with 5,256 moved. The rest of the segment was somewhat lower, with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at 3,288 units for the month, Ram ProMaster at 3,036, GMC Savana with 1,725 and Nissan NV at 1,554.
The old Ford and Chevy vans are hanging in there but the interesting thing is the Sprinter outsold the Promaster despite the Promaster being around all year unlike the Transit. I still think the Ford Transit is going to hit the Class B RV sweet spot and once converters get with them the Promaster will diminish. The Sprinter will still have its too unmatched bigger vans.
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

You need to include the GMC van with the Chevy for total GM, so that picks it up a little.

I wouldn't be surprised that Ford is including the Transit Connect in the total, as they are all over the place, and I have only seen about 1 full size.

Nope the didn't include the Connect per the article

Would be very interesting to see the by model breakdown for them all.
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

There was very likely a lot of pent-up demand from Ford lovers who have been waiting for the Transit. Some of these numbers are probably a cork-out-of-the-bottle effect. Who knows how much? Next December's numbers will be more interesting.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

ford econoline sold about 200,000 a year so 10-12 thousand a month is not unreasonable
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

Interesting article Davydd. I think there will be Transit based Class B vans also.

PDF from Ford: https://media.ford.com/content/dam/f...r2014sales.pdf

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Transit had a breakout month in December, with sales of 10,030 vans. This represents the vehicle’s best month since its June launch. Transit Connect produced its best sales month ever, with 5,012 sales, a 32 percent increase from a year ago. 2014 was a record year for Transit Connect with sales of 43,210 vans.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

I suppose we can quibble about the numbers but I read it to mean the full size Transit for 10,030 and if you add the Chevy and GMC together they still come in second. The new Transit numbers will grow and the Chevy/GMC and Ford E series will diminish as residual fleet matching needs recede and traditional hold on to-ers finally give it up. The old vans will die similar to the way Ford killed the Ranger pickup in doing little to nothing to update it.

I think the real trend is clear if the end of they year is not a statistical aberration. America will like the Transit over the Promaster. As I mentioned, I think it hits the sweets spot in size and Americans don't like small in their commercial vehicles or RVs for that matter. When Sprinter had the Euro van RV market by themselves they also offered a short, smaller Sprinter. It only appealed to a niche market and not the mainstream market.

Avanti, The cork popped and hit the ceiling and the bubbly overflowed.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

Ford finally was able to clear out several thousand Transits of all model variations that they had stored in an old shopping center parking lot about 6 miles from the plant during the month of December.
The culprits were parts issues. Defective front brake calipers from very early builds, and lack of the My Touch radios were most of the hold up. Both have now been cleared up. We drove by there about 6 weeks ago. Talk about a sea of Transits and cutaways, I'd say 95% white.
Like David said, this chassis hits the "sweet spot" in class B sizing and capabilities what with it's current specs in the same league as the T1N Sprinter was, and you'll most likely have the choice of a very powerful gas engine, and a diesel that's been proven all over the world in other markets, and a drivetrain that's been installed in hundreds of thousands of Ford pickups. Hopefully the RV upfitters will offer both.
In the next year or so I think we'll see the numbers go up with them adding a second shift at the plant, and a 450 and possibly a 550 model(s) coming up.

Incidentally, all the Transit engines, gas & diesel, use the same oil filters and oil, which are the same as used in the F-150, and the diesel fuel filter is a cartridge type that is inside a very accessible housing that just twists on & off. Ubiquitous parts availability....
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

If Transit sales take off for RV conversion, then it will be at the expense of Sprinters, not Promasters.

People are wanting a cheaper alternative to Sprinter, and a large van choice in a gasoline drivetrain.

The majors have invested considerable money in Promaster conversion, so I doubt they will just give it up. It will play out as I predicted, with Promaster vans being the value choice, with a large chunk of the younger and price conscious demographic. And just wait until the update for the new front end is released. The PM will actually have a very sleek and attractive look. Styling has been the big criticism so far.

Whether Ford & MB slug it out for the top of the market, or create a new niche in the middle of pricing, who knows? If B van production continues to rise, there may be room for all. But if fuel stays cheap, and B van numbers fall (with those buyers going larger to C's and A's) then there won't be room for everybody. If that happens, I think that the market basically stratifies between high end, and low end with MB on high, and PM on low.

Actually, I think Transit plays better in the B+ category like as a stronger platform for the Navion or Viva, Via or Trend., and the like. A good bit better payload and towing, turbo V6 gas engine - could be a really compelling package.
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher
If Transit sales take off for RV conversion, then it will be at the expense of Sprinters, not Promasters.

People are wanting a cheaper alternative to Sprinter, and a large van choice in a gasoline drivetrain.

The majors have invested considerable money in Promaster conversion, so I doubt they will just give it up. It will play out as I predicted, with Promaster vans being the value choice, with a large chunk of the younger and price conscious demographic. And just wait until the update for the new front end is released. The PM will actually have a very sleek and attractive look. Styling has been the big criticism so far.

Whether Ford & MB slug it out for the top of the market, or create a new niche in the middle of pricing, who knows? If B van production continues to rise, there may be room for all. But if fuel stays cheap, and B van numbers fall (with those buyers going larger to C's and A's) then there won't be room for everybody. If that happens, I think that the market basically stratifies between high end, and low end with MB on high, and PM on low.

Actually, I think Transit plays better in the B+ category like as a stronger platform for the Navion or Viva, Via or Trend., and the like. A good bit better payload and towing, turbo V6 gas engine - could be a really compelling package.
I totally agree. The Promaster will get the Chevy, Ford market, and the Transit will compete with MB, primarily. A couple of big issues will be what happens with the next MB redesign, and how the ECOboost does in the commercial van market for durability. If MB goes more upscale, they are going to be limiting the market a bunch. I would expect the Transit to put pressure on MB to make an American "everyman" plain work van, probably with a gas engine. If they do, it would good for all and would give better competition. The ECOboost is the big point with Transit, as nothing can match the power and high altitude performance. I think it will raise the standard performance in all vans, leaving the Promaster to the lighter applications.

I never was saying the Transit wouldn't be a big player in the B market, as I think it will. The big question will be when and what MB does to try to counter it. In the B+ and small C area, the power of the ECOboost will probably be the big tilting factor, just as it was with the V10 for all these years. We have been around quite a few of the small C's and B+ on the MB cutaway, and they struggled much more than our 6.0 Chevy and the V10 Ford of comparable size RV ran away. If the V10 and 6.0 go away, the ECOboost will be the only real replacement, at least so far. The 8.1 Chevy may get some of the business, but it just is not the engine the V10 is.

I also think all the drama (justified or not) with the diesel emissions will give a boost to direct injection gas engines, turbo and not. I don't think it will be long before the DI gas and emission diesels wind up essentially equal in mileage, with the difference being the heat capacity of the fuel difference, not even counting fuel cost difference. Of course, by then, we may be running on fuel cells (I hope).

All the vans that were on the factory lot would certainly explain the surge, as many of them could have already been preordered by folks like Fedex, Uhaul, etc. They would spend zero time at the dealer. Personally, I wish Ford well, they have done a good job of weathering hard times without help, and I certainly would consider a Ford RV.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ford Transit is America's Best Selling Van

I am not surprised the Transit is a success. Ford waited a year on it to do it right, and being a completely new type of vehicle as well as a new model, it was bumpy, but other than having to wait, no horror stories with a first generation US vehicle. Ford has a lot of dealers, and a lot of fleet muscle.

I still think that most mainstream RV makers will keep two lines. The ProMaster for the rigs where price is important, and the Sprinter because it still is top dog with MPG, 4WD, and active safety features.
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