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FCA now #1 in vans

by Bill Cawthon on

While pundits rave about crossovers and SUVs, where FCA is the clear leader, the hottest growth in April was actually vans. Minivan, MPV, and commercial van sales rose by nearly 27%, to 98,151, last month.  For the first four months of 2016, total van sales have grown to more than 354,000, up more than 27%, and FCA is in the lead by 25,661 sales over #2 Ford.


FCA’s van market share grew from 5.3% to 6.5% in 2015; year to date, it is up to 6.3%.

The Dodge Grand Caravan was the top-selling minivan in April, edging out the Honda Odyssey by 156 sales; it is also the top seller year to date.

The Ram ProMaster City was the second-best-selling compact commercial van, (well) after the Ford Transit Connect. The Ram ProMaster outsold the Nissan NV, not to mention the combined Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Metris vans.

Chrysler minivans easily beat their April 2015 sales, when retooling of the Windsor Assembly Plant caused slower sales. Still, the Caravan came within 149 sales of equalling its April 2014 numbers. Chrysler minivans didn’t fare as well: even adding in the Pacifica, they came up 3,286 sales shy of April 2014.

Automaker April ’16 April ’15 Change April ’14 Change
FCA US  28,079 15,380 83% 30,073 -7%
Ford 23,221 19,575 19% 16,812 38%
Honda 13,047 11,092 18% 11,639 12%
GM 11,840 8,964 32% 9,126 30%
Toyota 10,795 11,353 -5% 11,134 -3%
Nissan 4,435 3,729 19% 3,294 35%
Kia 2,896 3,394 -15% 625 363%
Daimler 2,589 2,764 -6% 2,394 8%
BMW 1,249 1,244 0.4% 2,045 -39%
Total Vans 98,151 77,495 27% 87,142 13%

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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