China’s van LDV Deliver 9 ends the 23-year winning streak of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

China's van LDV Deliver 9 ends the 23-year winning streak of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

The LDV Deliver 9 has ended the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter’s 23-year winning streak in the large van class – the Chinese brand taking two of the top four places in the category.

China’s LDV Deliver 9 has clinched a major win in only its second year on sale – surpassing the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in the large van class last year and ending two decades of dominance.

The biggest surprise in the van sales race in Australia in 2022 was the LDV Deliver 9 large van, which ended the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter’s 23-year winning streak since that model was introduced locally in 1998.

Official figures from the Federal Chamber of Automobile Industry (FCAI) show that 2,966 examples of the Deliver 9 van were reported as sold last year (excluding passenger variants), a 61 percent increase over the previous year.

This compares to 2,685 examples of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van (excluding passenger vans) reported as sold in Australia in 2022, down 10 per cent from the previous year.

The result saw the LDV Deliver 9 win the major van sales charts for the first time.

Across the van category – broken down by all sizes – the Toyota HiAce (8748 reported sold last year) once again dominated, outperforming its closest rival, the Hyundai Staria Load (3291) by more than two to one.

Third and fourth in terms of sales volume across all van types were the LDV G10 medium van (3,159) and the LDV Deliver 9 large van (2,966).

The popularity of the LDV vans (and the LDV T60 ute) helped LDV achieve record sales in Australia last year, with 16,269 units sold across all LDV nameplates – the eighth consecutive year of annual growth since debuting on the local market with only 214 sales in 2014.

The surge in Chinese van sales came as models from Europe faltered amid ongoing stock shortages: Ford Transit Custom (1,709 reported sold in 2022, down 31 percent), Renault Trafic (1,449 reported sold, down 31 percent) and Volkswagen Transporter (1,362 reported sold, down 21 percent).

Widespread lockdowns during the global pandemic over the past two years have led to a sharp rise in home deliveries, which in turn has led to record van sales.

In the five years before the pandemic (2015-2019), an average of 19,500 new vans were sold in Australia each year.

However, annual sales of new vans in Australia peaked at 25,900 in the midst of the pandemic and fell to 23,060 last year due to production delays and shipment shortages for vans that need extra space on the car – the second-highest number on record. supporting ships due to their higher rooflines.

Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for over 20 years, most of his time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motor editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018 and has been a World Car of the Year judge for more than 10 years.

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