Fleet owners and tradesmen looking for a new Chevrolet Express 1500 or GMC Savana 1500 half-ton van will have to settle for something else. This is because reports have emerged that General Motors will discontinue the aged vans from the 2015 model year onward.
According to PickupTrucks.com, the the 1500 vans made up 23 percent of Express and 7 percent of Savana sales, with the rest of the purchases made up of the three-quarter ton models and upward. And GM is convinced that their half-ton van customers can either be talked into the HD vans or the new, smaller, Nissan-developed City Express.
“We recognize that the van space has changed radically,” Joe Langhauser, product manager for GM’s full-size vans, told PUTC. “The 1500-series van was the last vehicle [of its type] that has been produced in North America that was under 8,500 pounds, and it had some very unique attributes to it.”
Sales wasn’t the only factor here. It also had to do with the federal mandate of an 8,500 GVWR, with everything at or below that number being considered light duty, while anything above it is considered heavy duty. All light duty vehicles must line up and be rated by the EPA. At best, these vans achieved an EPA-rated 20 mpg highway. CAFE standards, anyone?
Langhauser continued: “Would we ever bring back that  badging and that labeling? Potentially, but it will always be over 8,500 pounds in that space… there are a lot of regulatory changes that occur at 8,500 pounds.”