The Compact Van Strikes Back Articles Vehicle Research Articles…

27 Апр 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes utility truck

The Compact Van Strikes Back

2013, Work Truck Feature

In 2005, when Motors ceased production of the Astro/GMC Safari vans, it the compact van segment was left for

But, today, with new cargo van offerings from (Transit Connect ) and Nissan ), and more to come from GM and Ram in the 18 months, small vans are back to prominence among looking to reduce fuel and total cost of ownership lighter-duty applications.

The Precipitous

To understand the historical context in yesterday’s compact vans included the Ford Aerostar, Astro, and GMC Safari) came to an abrupt end.

Compact van sales fell off the as the segment peaked in 1993 362,769 units. Within two sales had dropped by more 100,000 units to 247,142. years later, in 1998, fell by another 120,000 to 127,958. By 2005, the last of small vans rolled off the line, marking the end of an era until resurrected the segment with its of Transit Connect to the U.S. in 2009.

Some of the decline be attributed to the rise of the SUV and minivan in the to late-1990s, which presented a alternative to the compact passenger van for The factor that likely the segment altogether by 2005 was the difference between compact and full-size counterparts, especially in of fuel economy and price.

“Compact vans of yesterday too similar to the full-size van in efficiency and were still very vans. There wasn’t a difference between them,” Jeremy Acevedo, supervisor, and industry analysis for

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The tell the story. Take, for the fuel economy ratings of the Astro and the full-size Chevrolet 1500 van. Both models were equipped the 4.3L V-6 gasoline engine. to there’s only a 2 mpg for the Astro; 17 mpg combined city/highway vs. 15 mpg for the Express. Yet, the price was slightly higher for the smaller with an original MSRP for the of $22,930, compared to $22,860 for the according to This little incentive for buyers to small.”

“Aside from meeting job the economics of a product offering work for the fleet buyer in to generate sales,” explained Mallonga, project manager, consulting for PHH Arval. “Otherwise, demand for the product would affecting the product’s profitability. In the motor company would be to change the product’s price reengineer the product, or discontinue it At that time, the fleet found the economics of the small vans to be less favorable the full-size vans and other offerings that met their job

That is, until Ford the segment in 2009, when the brought its global platform Connect to the U.S. market. year, Ford sold a 8,834 units. In 2010, Connect sales tripled to units and the numbers have steadily upward since.

Ford’s “proof-of-concept” that vans can actually sell in the has drawn other automakers the fray, with Nissan out its NV200 this year and a joint venture with GM to a Chevrolet-badged NV200, branded the Express, in 2015. Ram recently plans to bring its Fiat cargo van to the U.S. by the end of 2015, and is taking a wait-and-see approach as to it will enter the market its Citan, a smaller van alternative to the Sprinter.

“There seems to be a big difference yesterday’s compact vans and the new in terms of fuel efficiency. with the extended rooflines, the is just right,” Acevedo

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