As a contractor, you have been stuck with the same cargo van offerings from Ford, GM and Dodge (now Ram) for the past 20+ years. These same vans have been on the market for years with only minor updates and have become huge cash cows for auto industry. However, in the next few years Ford and Ram will have new offerings from their European counterparts.
The first efficient European style on sale in the American market was the Dodge Sprinter. Due to the break up of Daimler-Chrysler the Sprinter is now sold under the Mercedes name plate. Owners of the Sprinter 2500 often claimed fuel economy in the 17 to 22 MPG range. While the base price of the Sprinter is higher than a Ford Econoline's, the cost of ownership is actually lower. This is because of the Sprinters fuel economy and lower cost of maintenance.
Looking to increase their fuel economy figures and update their product lines Ram and Ford will release their new cargo vans in 2013-2014 . Ram is expected come to the market with the 2013 Ram Cargo Van 2500. This is currently on sale in Europe and other countries as the Fiat Ducato.The Ford Econoline will be replaced the 2013 Ford Transit, not to be confused with the smaller Ford Transit Connect. Its worth noting that Nissan has also joined the game with the NV1500, NV2500 & NV3500 cargo vans.
GM has yet to announce any entirely new models for Chevrolet and GMC. They will continue to sell the Savannah and Express for the near future. This will either help or hurt them when the new models from the other manufacturers come out, depending on how reluctant people are to switching to the new style of work vans.
What do you think of the new cargo van offerings? Will you upgrade your fleet when they come to market?