For all the talk of the minivan’s death, it’s interesting to see a minivan sales chart posted here alongside another chart for truck sales. By the standards of the Ford F-Series, there are really only a handful of truck models that sell in meaningful volumes. Together, yes, the truck market was worth 113,378 sales in January 2011; minivan sales totalled barely more than 31,000.
However, there are parallels. 76.6% of all truck sales came as a result of the four best-selling models: Ford’s F-Series, the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC’s Sierra, and the Dodge Ram. Likewise, the vast majority of January 2011’s minivan sales, 88.8%, came as a result of the four best-selling vans: Chrysler’s Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, the Toyota Sienna, and the Honda Odyssey. Curiously, this boils down to three trucks and three vans since the Sierra and Silverado are one and the same, as are the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. Extinguish all other trucks and all other vans – 15 models in total – and the U.S. auto market would only have lost 31,081 sales last month, so few that the overall new vehicle market still would have grown by 89,871 sales compared with January 2010. Ain’t that somethin’.
With the Ford Ranger’s soon-coming death and the full-fledged onslaught of the excellent Good 12-winning 2011 Ford F-150, the truck buyers will be even more in favour of supporting best-selling trucks in the coming months. Likewise, the Kia Rondo has already been restricted for U.S. consumption and the minivan market’s best sellers from Chrysler and Dodge are substantially revitalized for 2011. It’s unlikely that the all-new 2011 Nissan Quest will be a huge thorn in the top sellers’ sides. Successful though the new 2011 Honda Odyssey may seem (sales were up 44.4% in January) in spite of its awful door cut, Chrysler still held close to half the market.