Replacing the LLVs with the quantity needed for a new fleet is not as easy (or lucrative to a potential truck manufacturer) as it might seem on the surface. There are specific requirements that must be met, including sourcing of parts to the USPS for at least two decades into the future, making the vehicle right-hand drive, customizing the vehicle to other special USPS needs, having both air conditioned and non-air conditioned models (regional) and both two wheel drive and four wheel (or all wheel) drive models available (again, regional requirements based on need) and special alternative fuel vehicles (i.e. electric, hybrid, gas, diesel) while meeting mandated fuel economy requirements, too.
There is no one vehicle currently on the market that can conform to all of these requirements, and no one manufacturer has the capacity right now to manufacture the quantity of these vehicles that would be needed, so there is a significant cost to the manufacturer to "tool" these vehicles to such specifications, hire the needed staff, and create special manufacturing plants to specifically make them.
Further complicating the matter is how much of the vehicle must be made or assembled in the USA, although there have been reports that some trade regulations allow European assembly under those bidding requirements.
Although it's a lucrative contract, it's not necessarily a "home run" in terms of profit for the selected vendor, whoever that might be, especially when you have to consider all the up-front costs and the required long life (i.e. 20+ years) of durability expected, coupled with Federal mandates for safety equipment, etc.
It seems to me Ford is the obvious front-runner, as they already supply Transit Connect vans to Canada Post
, so they could potentially develop something along those lines.
Here's another article on the subject. If you link to the USPS specifications for the vehicle, it's three files in excess of 10MB in size to just outline the vehicle requirements for everything down to the windshield wipers, so it's not as easy as it might seem to be a qualified bidder:http://www.autonews.com/article/201...plate=mobile