Vans drive slowly into the offside

Just a few years ago they were still very popular – especially among young families with several children. No, we are not talking about Riester pension contracts, but about large-capacity limousines or also called vans. But in the meantime, the vehicles known as MPVs (multipurpose vehicles) such as the VW Sharan and Touran, Renault Espace or Ford S-Max and Galaxy have lost something in the favour of customers.

Distribution of SUVs (large and luxury SUVs excluded) compared to MPVs

For some years now, others have been outstripping them – or rather driving them: the Sports Utility Vehicles or SUVs for short. Almost every third registration in Europe is now such an off-road vehicle for the city. Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH) are no exception. In these three countries, too, off-roaders, most of which are only optical, race from one registration record to the next. The continuing demand for SUVs in Europe is primarily at the expense of traditional body variants such as station wagons or sedans – and MPVs have seen the greatest decline.

SUVs are booming

While in 2013 a good 517,000 vans and minivans were still being sold in the DACH region, almost 419,000 of them in Germany alone, only a total of around 411,000 units were bought in 2018 (Germany 346,000). The SUV boom was downright dramatic during the same period. In all three countries, sales almost doubled between 2013 and 2018, while in Germany they more than doubled from around 363,000 to over 817,000 vehicles sold.

Minivans and station wagons contribute to stabilizing the MPV segment, while vehicles with MPV bodies continue to decline

But there is another segment that is taking customers away from MPVs: light commercial vehicles for passenger transport. Models like the VW Multivan or Mercedes Vito, Renault Trafic or Toyota Proace come closest to MPVs in terms of versatility and interior space. The vans are also aimed at larger families and all those who need a lot of loading space and more than five seats. Sales of vans registered as passenger cars and not as commercial vehicles alone rose in the DACH region from almost 30,000 (2013) to more than 50,000 units in 2018.

The top 10 ranking per body type (station wagon and minivan), which contributed most to stabilization

Further information on this topic can also be found here