Sales of the Chevrolet Express van were up a whopping 26 percent in Q3 and are up nearly 4 percent in the first nine months of the year. Additionally, sales of the GMC Savana jumped 33 percent in Q2 of this year and are up more than 25 percent through to the end of Q3.
Neither of the work vans are new and they haven’t received any major updates recently, so it may seem odd that sales have spiked this year. A recent article from The Los Angeles Times may provide an answer as to why the Express and Savana are selling so well, though.
Online shopping has proven to be a boon for automakers, the LA Times‘ report says, with sites like Amazon expanding their delivery fleets to help support growing demand. Amazon began delivering its own packages in 2018 and has purchased over 30,000 delivery vans since, stacking its fleet with offerings from General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.
When combining sales of the Express and the related GMC Savana, GM van sales are up 8.3 percent through to the end of Q3 2019. Mercedes-Benz has also seen a spike in van popularity in recent years, with Sprinter sales jumping 9.1 percent in 2018 and 2.9 percent in in the first nine months of 2019.
Increased demand for fleet vehicles has likely been a relief for automakers, which have seen consumer car sales slip in 2019 both in North America and abroad. Dealerships have also benefited from the e-commerce boom and not only with regard to sales. One major dealer group told the LA Times that it has seen an increase in demand in service activity for fleet vans, with companies like Amazon often eager to get delivery vehicles back on the road if they experience a problem.
The current Express and Savana vans are the oldest products in all of GM’s current lineup, but with reliability, simplicity and cost effectiveness being the most important factors in the fleet van segment, we can’t imagine GM is prioritizing a major overhaul or replacement for them. We heard last year the vans would likely remain as-is until at least 2023 and that GM could keep the current version around until as late as 2025 if need be.
Source: The Los Angeles Times