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Author Topic: No more baby vans? (in North America anyway)  (Read 1104 times)

drew gandy

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No more baby vans? (in North America anyway)
« on: September 15, 2022, 10:03:38 AM »

I'm curious the LAB thoughts about how all manufacturers have now announced 2023 as the last year for "cargo minivans".

I bought a Metris in 2018 as it was the largest capacity van in production that could fit into a 6'6" urban parking garage. It's been a mostly positive experience and I'm considering ordering a '23 model year Metris with all the bells before they are gone for good.

I'm concerned about a gap of unknown years between now and when electric "city vans" are widely available.

Any thoughts?
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Bob Stone

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Re: No more baby vans? (in North America anyway)
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2022, 10:30:43 AM »

I'd be surprised if Ford stops making the Transit?
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drew gandy

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Re: No more baby vans? (in North America anyway)
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2022, 10:43:25 AM »

Ford announced the end of the baby model of Transit.
They've apparently been doing well with the full size models and haven't discontinued them.

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Chris Hindle

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Re: No more baby vans? (in North America anyway)
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2022, 12:44:57 PM »

Ford announced the end of the baby model of Transit.
They've apparently been doing well with the full size models and haven't discontinued them.
Sounds strange.
Can't throw a banjo more than 50 feet without hitting a Transit.
Hydro, post office, couriers, service vans. They're all over the place.
Chris.
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Steve Crump

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Re: No more baby vans? (in North America anyway)
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2022, 03:46:05 PM »

I'm curious the LAB thoughts about how all manufacturers have now announced 2023 as the last year for "cargo minivans".

I bought a Metris in 2018 as it was the largest capacity van in production that could fit into a 6'6" urban parking garage. It's been a mostly positive experience and I'm considering ordering a '23 model year Metris with all the bells before they are gone for good.

I'm concerned about a gap of unknown years between now and when electric "city vans" are widely available.

Any thoughts?

Ford, Nissan and Ram all will not be bringing the "city" vans back in 23 is what I read. Not enough demand to justify. More demand for the full-size vans. I do wonder if at some point one of the manufacturers will bring out an EV version in the small vans and have a go of it.
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Weogo Reed

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Re: No more baby vans? (in North America anyway)
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2022, 09:18:32 AM »

Hi Steve,

    Nissan introduced the all-electric E-NV200 several years ago.
A Scottish farmer friend bought one about 2016 for local deliveries, very happy with it.

Thanks and good health,  Weogo
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Tim Weaver

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Re: No more baby vans? (in North America anyway)
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2022, 11:44:26 AM »

I bet this isn't the whole story.

Most likely they won't be selling mini cargo's to the general public, but will likely still do fleet sales. I'm guessing that fleet sales already makes up greater than 80% of the mini-cargo sales already.

This will hurt the average small business that only needs one or two vans, but for the big manufacturers we are an insignificant statistic. They are only looking at the bottom line here.


Ford already has some trucks that are only purchasable via fleet sales.
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drew gandy

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Re: No more baby vans? (in North America anyway)
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2022, 07:47:26 PM »

Most likely they won't be selling mini cargo's to the general public, but will likely still do fleet sales.

The numbers I've seen for the Metris say that of the approximately 60k of them that they've sold in the States since 2016, 30k of them went/are goin to the USPS.

I suspect that aside from the fairly low sales this segment has seen and the crazy shifts from the pandemic, a big part of this is the automakers working out their transitions to all electric lines. It's probably easier for Ford, Mercedes, Ram etc to cut some of the fumbly loose ends while they make some huge changes to way they make, sell and service vehicles. Along these lines, I've heard that the US factory that makes the little 2.0 liter powerhouse (208 HP) in the Metris is actually owned by Nissan and Nissan has decided to convert that plant over to their own EV production; MB would have to line up another place to manufacture those gasoline engines.

Also, I want to clarify model names again. Ford's "Transit" is still being made. But the "Transit Connect" (2.0 liter - 162HP) is being discontinued. 
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John Schalk

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Re: No more baby vans? (in North America anyway)
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2022, 11:02:19 AM »

According to this article, the probably reason for discontinuing baby vans is that sales in that market segment have declined.

What’s causing these automakers to abandon small vans now? For one thing, sales have been declining for the past few years. The Transit Connect sold 41,598 units in the U.S. in 2019, but managed to move just 26,112 in 2021; both of these figures pale in comparison to the full-size Transit, which racked up over 130,000 sales in both 2019 and 2020.

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a41040933/ford-and-ram-to-drop-compact-vans-and-there-goes-the-segment/

The article also mentions that Transit Connect and Dodge baby Pro-master are both built in Europe so perhaps that has something to do with it too?  I agree that it does seem odd, as I see these these city vans all over the place.
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: No more baby vans? (in North America anyway)
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2022, 02:01:16 PM »

According to this article, the probably reason for discontinuing baby vans is that sales in that market segment have declined.

What’s causing these automakers to abandon small vans now? For one thing, sales have been declining for the past few years. The Transit Connect sold 41,598 units in the U.S. in 2019, but managed to move just 26,112 in 2021; both of these figures pale in comparison to the full-size Transit, which racked up over 130,000 sales in both 2019 and 2020.

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a41040933/ford-and-ram-to-drop-compact-vans-and-there-goes-the-segment/

The article also mentions that Transit Connect and Dodge baby Pro-master are both built in Europe so perhaps that has something to do with it too?  I agree that it does seem odd, as I see these these city vans all over the place.
If small businesses are the key buyers of small vans, small businesses have just had their asses kicked for the last 2-3 years, so of course they're not going to be buying small vans. This is an unfortunate decision, IMHO.
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Re: No more baby vans? (in North America anyway)
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2022, 02:01:16 PM »


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