Ford Transit is America's new best-selling van

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The Ford Motor Company's sales in December ticked up 1.2 percent in the US, and the automaker was down 0.5 percent for 2014. But the Blue Oval looks like it might have a real winner on its hands when it comes to its new Transit van. The recently introduced line nearly doubled its numbers during the month by delivering 10,030 units for an annual total of 20,488 examples sold. It also gave the fullsize model the title of America's bestselling van for December.

Those 10,000 sales put the Transit head and shoulders above all of its competitors in the crowded commercial van market. Second place went to the Chevrolet Express with 5,611 sales in December, and the ancient Ford E-Series was third with 5,256 moved. The rest of the segment was somewhat lower, with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at 3,288 units for the month, Ram ProMaster at 3,036, GMC Savana with 1,725 and Nissan NV at 1,554.

December also marked the second month in a row for the Transit to beat out the E-Series in sales. However, its predecessor still won overall for the year with 103,263 units moved in 2014, but it enjoyed a full calendar year of sales. According to Ford spokesperson Mike Levine, the smaller Transit Connect had its best sales month ever for December too, and the automaker has been among the sales leaders in the van segment for the last 36 years.

"Clearly, sales show we're best at meeting our customers' needs," said Levine to Autoblog, who touted the model's results on Twitter and cited the Transit's numerous configurations as its biggest selling point.

Ford's latest van has other plusses, too, say analysts. "The one thing the Transit has going for it is a low base price relative to the competition. Compare the base price of the Sprinter to the Transit and it is hands-down a Transit win," said Dave Sullivan, auto industry analyst at AutoPacific, to Autoblog.

Purely by model name, the Transit was also the bestselling van in November, with 4,851 deliveries. However, the Chevy Express had 4,478 sales, plus 716 more from the GMC Savana. Since these two are the same model beneath the skin, as a platform, they arguably took the title for that month.

With a new year already here, the Transit has a new challenge to face. "2015 will be the year that the Transit has to leave the nest, because E-Series inventories will be close to zero and Transit will have to carry all the weight," said Sullivan.

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