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Discussion Starter #1
So, how is our Promaster selling, compared to the "new generation" vans?

Here's a graph I made using goodcarbadcar.net as data source:



I combined US and Canadian sales.

I knew that before, but the US market and the Canadian market are very different. For example, if I applied the Canadian sales to the American market, the PM would sell nearly twice as much as the Nissan NV. And more than 5000 PMs would be on US roads.

Too bad for Chrysler that the Canadian population is 10 times less than the American one ;)
 

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I don't think it's FWD. Anyone who has ever owned a van, knows RWD is horrible when you have no load in the back.

I want FWD.

I think its the Fiat name, that causes the average American to sit back and wait and see how they hold up.

We Americans, are afraid of cheap-o tiny car makers from Europe. We learned to fear them when Yugo came to the US.

I really "hope" Fiat's van is awesome.
 

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Can you add the old style GM and Ford vans to your graph? Would be interesting to see if the old style vans are experiencing lower sales.
 

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Well January & February were bad for everybody. The PM did terrible in February, only 597 I believe sold. But that's also with absolutely no advertisement. Most people don't even know what a PM is.
The Express & Savannah were down too from late last year totals.
 

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sprinter reigns supreme
Sprinter is ahead but appears it's losing ground to other two. During first two months it outsold the NV and PM combined. In December and after that doesn't appear the case.

PM did best relative to Sprinter in December which may be due to higher business usage -- just speculation on my part due to investment timing. Also PM potential buyers may be waiting to see and test drive the upcoming Transit.

In any case I think the Nissan is not as direct a competitor to the ProMaster as the Sprinter or soon-to-be Transit. I'd personally compare the NV to the Transit Connect and RAM minivan.

In my opinion what will limit PM volume the most is aesthetics. Being FWD and a Fiat may not help with some customers, but the boxy commercial look can't be helping. Even the marker lights makes it look more like a bread-delivery van than a typical Ford or Chevy travel van. The Sprinter and the new Transit are much more "automotive" looking than commercial when compared to ProMaster.
 

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I don't think it's FWD. Anyone who has ever owned a van, knows RWD is horrible when you have no load in the back.

I want FWD.

I think its the Fiat name, that causes the average American to sit back and wait and see how they hold up.

We Americans, are afraid of cheap-o tiny car makers from Europe. We learned to fear them when Yugo came to the US.

I really "hope" Fiat's van is awesome.
Ditto. Yes I still remember working on Fiats 30 years ago. We use to say FIAT = Found In A Toilet. But a friend of mine from Italy said that over there they were a good car, not like what they sent here. But as bad as some were, and not all of them were that bad, they still were a lot better then a Yugo.The Ducato has been used in Europe for a long time and has a good track record. Hopefully, they didn't screw it to much by Americanizing it.
 

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I agree, January and February numbers are depressed due to horrible winter storms. It will be interesting to how the Nissan and PM compare. The Nissan has been on market for a bit more than the PM, but I predict that the PM will catch up in sales and surpass it by end of 2014.
 

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The problem is the FWD. In Europe is considered an obvious solution. In USA not...
Like what dwight said, I don't think it's the FWD at all but new vehicle launches in general lag and this one has almost zero advertising. The dealer down the road from me has 6 in stock and all of them are sitting behind the fence about 200' from the road.

The FWD was a top factor in my decision to buy and that was just under the 6'-4" interior. This Pentastar (phoenix) engine is rock solid and the trans should hold up just fine for me as weight is not that much.

I have a Chevy Express and if there is a bit of snow on the ground it may as well be a sheet of ice. I took the PM for a test drive in a snow storm and blasted like a bat out of **** all over, even had the salesman gripping the door for his life. It is a traction hog.
 

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It also may be a factor in that the first wave of dealer allotments hit and now more need to hit the lots. I bought the only one at my local lot, it will be a while before they get another. Meanwhile there are lots of sprinters available and end of the year discounts probably figure into some of sales. PMs are not being discounted very much and its hard to get accessories.
 

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The NV has been lucky to sell 900 in any month since it's been out. It's a Titan chassis, which is terribly outdated compared to the other pickup chassis, with a big box set on top of it.
Not to mention fugly! Even more so than the PM.

Oh, and it's being built in Nissan's Canton, MS plant which has and is having labor problems
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Can you add the old style GM and Ford vans to your graph? Would be interesting to see if the old style vans are experiencing lower sales.
There you go:




I combined the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana, since they are basically the same vehicle.

If you go on the site and look more closely at the numbers, "old style" vans sales are better than ever! If I was C.E.O. at GM, I would not follow the Euro-like trend and keep the conservative market all to myself. And if I was at Ford, I would delay (again) the Ford Transit(ion).

Once again, the PM is doing better in Canada when it's compared to trads. For example, Ford E-Series sales in 2014 are 914 vehicles, compared to the PM that sold 237 vehicles. Of course, Ford is still leading, but not as outrageously as it is leading in U.S.A: 1204 PM versus 15,965 E-Series.
 

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......cut.......

Once again, the PM is doing better in Canada when it's compared to trads. For example, Ford E-Series sales in 2014 are 914 vehicles, compared to the PM that sold 237 vehicles. Of course, Ford is still leading, but not as outrageously as it is leading in U.S.A: 1204 PM versus 15,965 E-Series.
Do you happen to know if PM price relative to other vans is different in Canada versus US?

Since PM is built in Mexico, I don't know if price/cost is different in Canada when compared to US-built vans.
 

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ProMaster is more expensive here (Canada) than GM and especially Ford. Commercial fleet buyers who are obligated to buy the cheapest thing on the market are going to end up with Ford or GM.

There's another factor here ... $1.30 per litre of fuel. People sick of 17 L/100 km fuel consumption (or in my case - people who don't want to go there in the first place) will strike GM, Ford, and Nissan off the list.

Also ... Canadian tastes aren't the same as American tastes - especially in Quebec, which in many ways has a distinctly European feel.
 

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I would think that commercial fleet operators would look at total cost of ownership, and mpg plays a big part in that, but then again, look at those numbers...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Do you happen to know if PM price relative to other vans is different in Canada versus US?

Since PM is built in Mexico, I don't know if price/cost is different in Canada when compared to US-built vans.
Ford, GM and Chrysler vehicles are about the same price in U.S. and Canada. The fact that PM is build in Mexico doesn't change anything. For example, the PM 1500 HR starts at $32,515 US and $35,495 Can. Since our Dollar is worth 0,90 cents in USD, it's about the same price.

The huge difference are taxes. In Quebec, the sales tax is 15%, 15% more than Oregon. Socialism does not come free. ;)

Another place where we loose is the warranty. In US, it's 60,000/100,000 miles and in Canada, it's 60,000/100,000 kilometers, so I am really getting a 37,000/62,000 miles guaranty. One may argue that the weather is rougher here, but the border is 60 miles south, so I don't think it is much warmer in New York State.
 

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Finding a van that suites my needs (extended version, rear camera, no windows, etc.) was not easy. In fact there was only 1 in Colorado. There were actually several MB Sprinters. I think when people see capability of these vans and realize how archaic the old Ford & Chevy vans are they will catch and probably surpass the old style vans.
 

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The NV has been lucky to sell 900 in any month since it's been out. It's a Titan chassis, which is terribly outdated compared to the other pickup chassis, with a big box set on top of it.
Not to mention fugly! Even more so than the PM.

Oh, and it's being built in Nissan's Canton, MS plant which has and is having labor problems
Hi Bobbo

I just bought one a couple of weeks ago. You might have seen the thread
on the Transit Forum.

You are incorrect about the chassis. It's unique to the NV and is not the Titan chassis. It's a much larger vehicle than the Titan. Nearly 5' tall to bottom of the windshield. It's a different animal.

You are totally correct about the fugly part. The shock is slowly wearing off . . .

Go drive one and then crawl underneath and take a look.
Then tell me what you think. I think you might enjoy the experience,
and different perspective, even without any intention of buying one.
It's quite different than the Sprinter or PM, or the old GM or Ford vans.

It may not be the right fit for everybody, but I will say this,
It is very much a serious and worthy contender in this market.
 
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