Ford Motor Co.’s new Transit is wasting no time replacing the automaker’s E-Series as the nation’s best-selling full-size cargo van.
The Detroit News reported that more than 4,800 Transits were purchased in November as the van outsold the venerable E-Series, the Chevrolet Express and all other competitors for the first time. Since its June launch, Ford has sold more than 10,000 Transits that have become everything from food trucks and mobile offices to medical service vehicles and party buses.
“We’re really excited to see Transit take over in such a big way — and so quickly,” said Yaro Hetman, Transit brand manager. “We had no plans at all to let down on our leadership in the van segment.”
Ford’s E-Series has been the best-selling commercial van in the U.S. for 34 straight years, but Ford is replacing it with a Transit — popular for years in Europe — that offers more engine, style and size choices.
“The vehicle is getting tremendous reviews,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst with autotrader.com. “The commercial van market has held up very well in the past few years and sales are pretty strong. If you come in with a really good contender, you’re going to do well.”
A stable economy, an improved unemployment rate and low gas prices have helped drive sales of commercial vans, which are often purchased by companies in construction, medical and other business sectors. Through November, the full-size van segment is up 14%, according to industry data. That sales rise is second only to the small utility segment, which is up about 20%.
The van segment has recently grown more crowded with entries like Chrysler’s ProMaster and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Ford last year introduced an all-new smaller Transit Connect van.
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