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Commercial Vans May Deliver Revenue, Profit to Ford, Nissan

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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:00 PM
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Commercial Vans May Deliver Revenue, Profit to Ford, Nissan
By Jeff Green and Keith Naughton

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co.s Transit Connect, a business vehicle used to haul goods such as food and paint, is leading a new wave of delivery vans that may help replace profits lost when Americans fell out of love with pickups.

Nissan Motor Co. will add a commercial van this year from a U.S. plant built to make Titan pickups, while Chrysler Group LLC may use models from Fiat SpA as the core of a new business fleet. General Motors Co. is also studying a global truck design to enter the category, people familiar with the planning said.

Now would be a good time to be coming into this market, said Chris Fisher, an analyst at Power Systems Research in Eagan, Minnesota. A lot of the increased sales volume will be driven by increased consumer spending in the latter half of the year, which should continue into 2011.

Reaching more commercial-vehicle buyers would help offset a 55 percent plunge in sales of large pickups since 2005 as rising fuel prices chased off casual customers and the recession cut fleet purchases. That collapse robbed GM, Ford and Chrysler of the source of most of their profits in the past two decades.


Overseas Factories

Ford said it doesnt plan to produce Transit Connects in North America. To avoid a 25 percent tax on imported light trucks, they arrive from Turkey with back seats and windows, which are removed before sale.

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