Ford Transit Bestselling Cargo Van Family on Earth
Transit Kombi’s Chinese Introduction, Strong U.S. Sales Bolster Van’s Popularity
The Ford Transit has become the world’s most popular cargo van nameplate, thanks in part to strong U.S. sales and the Chinese introduction of the Transit Kombi, a model that looks like it’s based on the front-drive European Ford Transit Custom.
The Ford Transit, which went on sale in the United States in 2014 as a replacement for the aging Ford E-Series, has already become the bestselling van in its class here, capturing a 40-percent market share through the first nine months of 2016. The company also says it’s on track for its best year of U.S. van sales since 1978.
In addition to U.S. sales success, the Ford Transit has been the bestseller in its segment in the United Kingdom since 1984, with total European market share growing from 10.8 percent to 12.9 percent in just over two years. In a region where every automaker has a commercial vehicle (even the likes of Mercedes and Volkswagen), one in eight new vans being sold is a Transit, and that’s very impressive.
Furthermore, the Transit is fast becoming China’s favorite van. Ford’s partnership with Jiangling Motors Corporation resulted in the first China-produced Transits in 1997, and just a month ago, the company commenced production on the Transit Kombi.
With America, China, and most of Europe covered, Ford likely has a strong grip on its global van sales crown with the Transit. However, there may be one caveat attached: Ford claims the Transit is the bestselling cargo van nameplate, including sales of the midsize Transit Custom and fullsize Transit in its boasting. The two are closely related, but as noted before, the Custom is actually a smaller front-drive offering sized more like the Mercedes-Benz Metris, while the Transit is more akin to the Sprinter.
Nevertheless, in the American market, the fullsize Transit outsells its competition handily, so we wouldn’t be surprised to hear Ford sells more commercial vehicles as a whole than its global competition. And regardless, however Ford is counting their vans, the Transit is a capable, economical, reasonable choice for almost any fleet or industry. It’s one of our favorite vans, for sure.