Hyundai is making a major push into the commercial vehicle market with a $1.8 billion global investment through 2020. That money includes plans to launch a model in the segment in the US at some point in the future.
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.
UPDATE: Comparing the disparate specification levels on commercial vehicles especially can be bewildering, but as Ram spokesman Nick Cappa points out, the ProMaster City is only offered in long-wheelbase form (unlike the Ford Transit Connect, for example, that starts in short-wheelbase spec). Just which model is the better bargain, then, is up to each customer to decide.
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.
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.
A few months back we reported on a dealership owner in Japan who was petitioning Toyota to make a luxury van. The problem, he reasoned, was that he couldn't take as many friends, colleagues and clients around with him in his Lexus LS, and his Toyota Alphard van wasn't luxurious enough. Well, it seems like he wasn't alone, and Toyota has listened.
There may not be as many minivans on the road as there used to be, but make no mistake about it: the van is still an indispensable mode of transportation. Especially for things like beer, ice cream, flowers, teams of television adventurers, and... more beer. There have been many automakers that have made vans over the years, and many that still do. But Mercedes-Benz is keen to point out that it pioneered the van.
The Washington Redskins might not be the best team in the National Football League, but it may have the most diverse player parking lot. Usually, professional athletes are seen driving around in luxury sedans, SUVs and exotic sports cars, but some of Washington's players seem to have a more bizarre style.
Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz revealed the new V-Class. Slotting in below the popular Sprinter, the new V-Class replaced both the Viano and Vito upon its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. But Mercedes isn't quite done with it just yet. At the upcoming Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, Germany, Mercedes will reveal the Marco Polo - a versatile, stylish and decidedly contemporary take on the classic camper van.
Nissan is a relative new-kid when it comes to the commercial van market in the US, with its commercial vehicles division only introducing the first NV vans in February 2011. But Nissan isn't letting its newcomer status keep it from challenging the established players in the segment. The company's latest shot over competitors' bows is announcing that, starting for the 2014 model year, its NV Cargo, NV Passenger and NV200 Compact Cargo vans carry a best-in-class, five-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-b
In the market for a fullsize van but don't need a heavy-duty model? You're in the minority, and you're also out of luck. That's because there are barely any more fullsize vans on the market with gross vehicle weight rating of less than 8,500 pounds, the threshold that separates light- and heavy-duty vans.
Of course, it's going to be Portland. Oregon's largest city, known for its green-friendly vibe and policies, will be where Nissan will next test of its all-electric e-NV200 cargo van. And we hope those vans have cup holders for the inevitable java.