According to the Power Information Network (PIN) (report, pdf), a division of J.D. Power and Associates, midsize van owners are deserting their segment in large numbers. Sales are down 22% from last May, and the segment is down to 4.9% overall.
Where are those owners going?
Surprisingly, the segment that has seen the greatest increase in attracting midsize van owners is the Compact Conventional Car segment; currently, more than 1 of every 10 midsize van owners trades to a small car. The three compact conventional cars that appealed most to midsize owners in May were the Prius (the percent moving to a Prius tripled), the Corolla and the Civic (the percent moving to each of these more than doubled).
Ford and GM are also abandoning the midsize van segment, focusing more on crossovers.
To say this is surprising to me would be an understatement. Moving out of a van and into a compact is a huge change up. I wonder if that would be true if there were more hybrid vans available? Is it all about the gas mileage? Or is this just part of the larger shift from large to small.