Chevy to enter small commercial market with Nissan-sourced van

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

General Motors once owned the North American compact commercial van segment outright with its heavy-hauling rear-drive Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari models, but after discontinuing the popular duo in 2005 it let the market slip completely away. Now it appears the General is no longer willing to sit and watch idly by the sidelines as archrival Ford garners all of its sales with the Turkish-built Transit Connect, as an announcement has been made to reenter the compact commercial van segment with a GM-badged version of the Nissan NV200.

The new van, dubbed Chevrolet City Express and available in the fall of 2014, will be a U.S. and Canada exclusive. It fulfills requests for a compact commercial van by GM fleet customers, says the Detroit-based automaker, and should be a popular addition to the General's lineup.

"Our fleet customers have asked us for an entry in the commercial small van segment, so this addition to the Chevrolet portfolio will strengthen our position with fleets and our commercial customers," said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM Fleet and Commercial Sales.

The NV200 is already available in North America as well as other markets through Nissan's commercial division, but producing a version for General Motors allows the Japanese automaker to achieve much stronger sales and likely higher profits.

"Working with partners to expand markets for our innovative products enhances Nissan's growth and manufacturing efficiency by leveraging our capacity to meet growing demand in this space," said Joe Castelli, Nissan vice president, commercial vehicles and fleet.

The NV200 looks like a good pick for GM too, as it's just the right size to complement Chevy's full-size Express van while also well respected within the industry, having been a previous winner of the International Van of the Year Award. According to a GM press release, the NV200 also enjoys some of the lowest running costs in the class, very efficient drivetrain options and a good safety record.

At the time of writing there's no word of a GMC equivalent, and there may not be, as GM appears to be repositioning the truck and SUV brand within its overall structure, focusing more on the consumer market.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Cargo Van, Chevrolet, 2015, City Express, Compact,

Organizations: City Express

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page