Amazon’s van-buying spree is bringing in holiday joy to the automotive industry. A boon to automakers, the e-commerce leader’s push for home-delivery has boosted van sales.
Car manufacturer’s sales to fleets, are on pace for a record year, having already exceeded 2.6 million units through November, according to Cox Automotive.
Since developing its own delivery network in 2018, Amazon has built a growing fleet of 30,000 last-mile delivery vans and trucks. Auto manufacturers Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz, Ford Motor Co, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV are reaping profits, Bloomberg reported Thursday (Dec. 19).
Mercedes-Benz van deliveries are up 2.9 percent this year after a 9.1 percent gain in 2018, thanks to high demand from online retail seller Amazon. Last year, the German automaker announced 20,000 Sprinter vans were ordered from Amazon.
Amazon also purchases Ford’s Transit cargo vans. Ford had record van sales in the third quarter, while GM’s full-size van fleet sales were up 8.3 percent through October.
Fiat Chrysler’s Ram ProMaster vans are sold to Amazon, U.S. Postal Service and UPS. The carmaker delivered more than 51,000 vans throughout the month of September. Deliveries were up 25 percent from a year earlier, placing its vans on track for its best year ever since 2014.
Amazon has been a key contributor with automakers coping with this year’s weakening demand from consumers. The company boosted commercial automotive sales from both its van and truck purchases and Amazon’s delivery contractors.
“A lot of those vans are going to build out Amazon’s small-package delivery in metro areas,” said Evan Armstrong, president of Milwaukee-based logistics research and consulting firm Armstrong & Associates to Bloomberg. “There’s going to be an opportunity because e-commerce is growing so fast, and these networks are growing as well.”
Vans with Amazon’s blue swoosh logo can be found driving everywhere. The e-commerce giant presently handles about half of its own deliveries.
One thing's for sure: eCommerce has been a boon to the delivery logistics industry. Armstrong estimated costs have jumped 19 percent this year alone to $168 million, with about half of that amount spent on transportation. Commercial vehicle sales saw a healthy bump, too, with about 734,000 sold through November, an 8.7 percent hike from the same time a year ago, published reports said.