Old and New Vans Give Truckmakers a Push

15FordTransit_18_HR II

Vans long have been a go-to choice for small businesses and certain fleet industries. But with the transformation of today's work vans, all of which have Euro-style unibody short and long boxes, you'd think the old-school body-on-frame vans like the Ford E-Series and Chevrolet Express would not be selling well.

Well, with the exception of the fast-selling all-new 2015 Ford Transit, the two top-selling vans for April were those Ford and Chevy stalwarts, the E-Series and the Express. Thankfully, both will continue to be produced for a good long while, but we suspect that as fuel prices creep back up, those numbers may not stay as high, especially when their tech-savvy counterparts offer more fuel-efficient gas and diesel options. Here's how van sales broke down in April.


Van Sales
Ford Transit 10,913
Chevrolet Express 4,952
Ford E-Series 4,802
Ford Transit Connect 3,860
GMC Savana 3,438
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2,764
Ram ProMaster 1,764
Nissan NV200 1,469
Nissan NV 1,396
Ram ProMaster City 997
Chevrolet City Express 574
Ram C/V 182


Manufacturer image




Ford handily outselling all others combined.

Several of the NEW vans would work great as hunting vehicles. Can carry all your tree stands, gear and other stuff with plenty of room left over plus get better gas mileage then a truck.

Now I see why it seems like there are so many new Ford vans on the road these days. But I never would have guessed they sold that many more than all the others combined.

I thought the E-series cargo van was already discontinued with only the E-series cutaway continued to be made?

Did Ford change their minds?

The new style vans will continue to grow in popularity as they become more accepted over time. Especially with them delivering so much more capabilities with additional efficiencies. I never would have guess the Transit was already handily outselling all of its competition. I would have expected better figures for the Transit Connect. As fuel creep back up the little vans (Nis/Fiat/Ford/Chev) will all grow in popularity.

I'd like to know how many Transits are the diesel. It would be interesting to see the numbers.

Everywhere the same cars and vans in today's world , same shops same food etc.... Why to travel ?

I didn't 't think I would like the Transit but now I really do. I'm a transport driver for my local Ford dealer and recently drove a Transit 350 ,dual wheels, 110" roof height ,long wheel base with the 3.2L diesel. Got 20.5 mpg from Olive Branch, Ms to Hayesville, N.C and had had enough left for another 100 miles. It drives and rides and handles very nicely. Just might be my next vehicle.

Wow!! Ford has the Vans and boy are they ever selling. Didn't like them at first but they do grow on you.

@the other mike - IIRC Ford's plan was to keep the Chassis Cab E-series around until the Transit settled into the market then release a chassis cab Transit.

My gut says the smaller cargo vans are probably adequate for a lot of folks but they don't always get the fuel economy they are rated for and thus don't sell in as high of volume. I think this is due to how they are tested. The EPA tests aren't under a load (say 800-1000 lbs of cargo) and use smaller I-4's for rated fuel economy but folks driving them tend to have lead-foot when they have a load since there isn't enough power to get them really moving.

I'd hope that the automakers re-tune the motors for higher torque or opt for slightly larger engines in order to help these small vans when under load. Not that I'd want some high horsepower monster under the hood but these are truly work rated vehicles that will be under load constantly. An extra 20 lb/ft of torque would go a long way in the NV200 or Transit Connect in terms of real world use.

I see you are still reporting vans news but no full size suv news. A full size suv is closer to a truck then the vans offered today. So way are you avoiding that segment? Maybe because GM all but owns the complete segment.

I still see Ford E-series with 7.3 diesels and Chevy Express vans with the Duramax driven by service personnel for the air compressors and forklifts at my work. I'm not sure of the new Euro-style vans' capabilities, but I'm not sure they could handle the loads the "old" style vans do. They certainly would take longer to respond to an emergency call!

The Ford Transit also outsells the GM Twinkies combined as they do with F-Series.

Who cares Greg?? This is about Vans that haul stuff and are basically closed in pickups. Suv's are just that, Suv's. They haul people to and from Wal-Mart and maybe the mall if you have one. You need to learn the difference between the two.

I didn't see even one Ford Transit in Canada. Must be just US success.

I didn't see even one Ford Transit in Canada. Must be just US success.

Posted by: cicka | May 7, 2015 5:38:11 PM

Do you live in a Northern village not accessible by road or something? Ford owns the van market in Canada just as it does with the pickup market....


I just said I didn't see any in my city. 1 million inhabitants it's not small village, but 1100 pieces is not too much compare to how large Canada is . I have seen 1 Promaster and non of those Transits.
Maybe because of this.


But maybe they sold few hundreds in BC Okanagan area and East part of the country. I can't tell and I don't really care, I just didn't see any yet and I don't miss that.

Either way the ford vans are easily the best selling vans in canada easily. The reason why you aren't seeing them is you choose to not see them and look past them. These vans are easily missed as they all look the same. But numbers say the chance is very good you have seen a ford van but just choose not to see it.

I just said I didn't see any in my city.

Posted by: Cicka | May 7, 2015 9:45:42 PM

No, you wrote Canada. Then you wrote must be US only success. This is false and Scott corrected you.

I didn't see even one in my city and I didn't see even one in Canada.

Just remember that Canada is different market than US and not every month F series sell more than RAM . There are month where RAM sells more than Ford and Chrysler is also ahead of Ford in cars in here or in total numbers.

Just remember that Canada is different market than US and not every month F series sell more than RAM . There are month where RAM sells more than Ford and Chrysler is also ahead of Ford in cars in here or in total numbers.

Posted by: Cicka | May 7, 2015 11:42:11 PM

Which month has ram out sold ford..... Ford sold almost 40k more trucks in Canada last year then RAM. Should be easy to find figures where ram has out sold Ford... Doesn't really matter as Ram sells around 30% less trucks in Canada per year... They do sell close to the same amount then GMC/Chevy fullsize though!

So far this year ram hasn't outsold ford for any month even though fords been shut down for change over.

Sorry Scott I misread one article. They mixed up 2 years .
F series combined is still #1 in Canada
Chrysler is #1 in Canada.

Ford Transit is a pretty rare sight in Australia. Strange all the people who panned the basically British Developed Transit compared to the Econoline, must be wondering, how this Diesel less Transit is selling so well?

It should be noted that GM hasn't been making Express or Savana vans since late 2014 in order to meet demand for the Colorado and Canyon. It doesn't look like they're planning to restart production until August. Expect continued low sales numbers.

It will be interesting to see how the Transit sales numbers compare to GM once both are being built at the same time.

Big Al from Oz,

No idea what your issue with Stu's post is, he is only stating a fact re: restricted production of the GM vans.


You are correct, wrong person. I wrote the comment to.

I do apologise.

@Big Al, No worries, mate.

I am fine with van information posted here (even as they leave body on frame status). Being beasts of burden they are trucks (in many ways more built/geared for serious work) than various platinum/ranch/denali type luxury pickup trucks. I have to agree that that body on frame (or Truck based) SUVs should also be posted. This would include the Wrangler, Fourrunner, and GM and Fords current full size SUV offerings and their luxury variants.

So when is Toyota going to step up and get into the game? Or will it sit still and let Hyundai slip by and grab a foothold?

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