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The Ford Transit took the reins as America's best-selling van in December. The Blue Oval's recently introduced full-size van line sold 10,030 units to take the title, and impressively, the model nearly doubled its annual sales in those 31 days to reach 20,488-units for all of 2014. It also beat Ford's own aging E-Series in sales for the second consecutive month.

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The custom vehicles at the SEMA Show tend to all be about speed and style, plus a few off-roaders thrown in for good measure, but Mercedes-Benz is taking advantage of the event this year to give its future midsize commercial van for the US a sneak preview.

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It seems like the commercial van market is booming at the moment. After years of consumers being limited to elderly choices like the Ford E-Series, Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana and various Dodge/Ram models, these days, buyers have fresh options in multiple sizes from companies like Ford, Ram and Nissan. Now, Mercedes-Benz is previewing an expansion of its van lineup with concept versions of a new midsize commercial van called Metris at this week's SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

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If you look at the Sprinter and wonder how Mercedes-Benz can possibly compete against locally produced commercial vehicles with a model built in Germany and shipped over the Atlantic, you're not alone. In fact, in order to mitigate the tariffs (but at the cost of added logistical expense), Mercedes builds the vans in Germany, takes them half apart again, ships them as kits and reassembles them in Ladson, South Carolina.

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Mitsubishi's Outlander Plug-in Hybrid SUV will be hitting our shores this fall. Across the Pond, however, it's heading into more no-nonsense territory. That's because the Japanese automaker is making a commercial van variant of the plug-in hybrid for the UK.

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Losing The Econoline Just Got A Whole Lot Easier

As a segment, fullsize vans are stealth-fighter invisible on most consumers' radar. Visit a dealership for any of the four brands that offer them and you'll be lucky to find even one on display. These are commercial vehicles primarily, even more so than pickup trucks. Vans are the shuttles for plumbers, caterers, carpenters, concrete layers, masons, electricians, florists and flooring, and a huge part of this country's productivity is accomplished using them. At the moment, Ford is the 800-pound

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The commercial van market in the US is exploding with new products at the moment, with entries from Ford, Ram, Nissan and others. And we are seeing images (again) of Hyundai testing its own van in Europe, as well, though it's not known whether the model will make it to the US. While the company has offered work vehicles overseas in the past, this one appears to be a direct competitor to European vehicles with large bodies and tiny wheels like the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

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Commercial vehicle sales are a key component to the success of many automakers, and in its persistent drive to become one of the largest in the world, it's a segment Hyundai can't very well ignore. But while it offers the i800 and H-series vans overseas, it hasn't offered anything bigger than a Tucson or Santa Fe in North America since the demise of the Entourage and Veracruz. That could all change in the near future, however, if these latest spy shots are anything to go by.

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Renault will receive 20.5 million euros (US$27.9 million) from the European Commission to develop diesel-hybrid powertrains for commercial vans, as the EC broadens its search for ways to cut emissions throughout the continent.

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Front-wheel drive is what sets the all-new Ram ProMaster full-size commercial van apart from its competition. In a segment still choked with thirsty, rear-wheel-drive, ladder frame, pickup truck-based cargo vans, the American automaker is introducing something entirely new – well, new to our domestic market, as Europeans will recognize Ram's fresh entrant as a made-for-USA Fiat Ducato.

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Back in January, we heard that Volkswagen and Daimler would not be renewing an agreement that provided VW with the fullsize Crafter van based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. This agreement, which began in 2005, was only supposed to run until the end of 2016, and now Mercedes has confirmed the report stating that the partnership will terminate as planned.

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Last week, Mercedes-Benz released the details for the updated 2013 Sprinter intended for global markets, but this week it has announced what changes are being made to the US-spec version of the van for the 2014 model year, including the Freightliner model. As expected, most of the changes made to the European model will be present on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter when it goes on sale in the US, which is expected to be this fall.

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By the end of this year, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter will be the second-oldest nameplate in its segment here in the States, but with hot new competition waiting in the wings, Mercedes-Benz is giving its hauler a freshened look and more equipment to stave off rivals. The Sprinter was a pioneer in bringing Euro-style delivery vans to North America, and it's inspired others to transplant their Continental offerings, with the all-new Ford Transit and Ram Promaster models launching shortly. It will al

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This week Ford rolled out the 2014 Transit Courier, the fourth addition to its Transit range. Ford says its the first time for the nameplate in the compact van segment.

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We already knew Chrysler would be getting its own version of the Fiat Ducato for use as the 2014 Ram Promaster, but it was just a question of when and what changes would be made. Well now we know. Though far from conventional-looking, the new Promaster should give Chrysler a fullsize van that is more competitive than the old Ram Van and more affordable than the Mercedes-based Dodge Sprinter.

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Unlike the US, the commercial truck market throughout the rest of the world is chocked full of competitors from many different automakers. Since 2006, Volkswagen has had a fullsize van called the Crafter that was a result of a partnership with Daimler AG and based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. This partnership is supposed to last through 2016, but Reuters is reporting that VW might be looking to end its relationship with Daimler and create its own van in cooperation with German truck and bus ma

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We recently showed you the updated Ford Transit Connect Wagon in all its refreshed glory. Well here is the new 2014 Transit Connect (note the lack of "Wagon" in name, for its commercially minded purpose), and it's the small Ford van of choice for your tougher jobs. Ford says this van is ideally suited for small businesses and fleets looking to prioritize fuel economy. Two gasoline-powered four-cylinder engines have been announced, as well as the availability of compressed natural gas-powered mil

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Get ready plumbers, ambulance drivers and airport shuttles; the 2014 Ford Transit is finally here... almost. Ahead of the truck going on sale next fall, Ford dropped most of the details for its new fullsize van, but, as is the case with any vehicle unveiled so far ahead of its release date, pricing, engine power and fuel economy figures were not announced.

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The Minicab MiEV, one of eight plug-in vehicles that Mitsubishi intends to launch by the end of 2015, is now available to order in Japan. The Minicab MiEV is an electric commercial van that's offered with a choice of either a 10.5 kWh or a 16.0 kWh Toshiba-supplied battery pack. Mitsubishi says that the 10.5 kWh version of the Minicab MiEV can be purchased for approximately 1,700,000 yen ($20,621 U.S. at the current exchange rate), while the 16.0 kWh version rings up at 2,050,000 yen ($24,867 U.

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Thanks to its new NV series of body-on-frame vans, Nissan now has a stake in the commercial cargo moving market. But how will the Japanese automaker entice fleet buyers to stop their scheduled orders for tried-and-true options like the Ford E-Series and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in favor of unproven models like the NV 1500, 2500 and 3500? The answer appears to be some clever incentives.

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2010 Ford Transit Connect – Click above for high-res image gallery

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