WSJ Reports That General Motors Doesn’t Plan To Pursue Compact Cargo Van Segment10
Be it for the sake of variety, or to appease the CAFE standard, both Ford and Chrysler either have been or will be offering small, compact, European cargo vans in North America with the Transit Connect (which has been on sale in the ‘States for a few years now) and a new Ram-badged compact van based on the Fiat Doblò. Meanwhile, General Motors hasn’t made a move. The company’s only offering to the market consisting of tradesmen such as plumbers, electricians and hitmen (probably) are the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savanna twins — and sales haven’t been all that rosy.
“We definitely see a place for this full-size van in the market for a long time,” said Joyce Mattman, director of GM Fleet and Commercial Operations, to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required). She noted that GM hopes it can counter the superior fuel economy numbers of the “Eurovans” by offering a “familiar product that is easy to modify and costs less.”
So, for now it seems GM looks to stay out of the game. Perhaps the company can put its head together with PSA Peugeot-Citroen and come up with something new.
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Chrysler is bringing Fiat Doblo, which will be named Ram Promaster city in NA. GM sells that same vehicle as Opel Combo in Europe, did Chrysler beat GM to it for NA?
I still find it stunning that the world’s biggest automaker decided to partner up with a lame excuse of a company (Fiat) and rebadge their shitty compact van as an Opel, rather than engineering and building their own. Stupidity still exists in the halls of GM.
Chrysler teamed with Fiat, not GM.
I don’t think that’s what Silent Electrician was referring to. The new Opel Combo is essentially a Doblo:
This article isn’t complete. The article was actually quoting Joyce Mattman (Director of GM Fleet and Commercial Operations) as saying GM has no plans to replace the Express/Savanna with a European-style van like the Sprinter or the Transit (NOT the Transit Connect). The Sprinter itself will be replaced not by the Doblo (as the article implies) but by the Ducato. The Doblo is an addition to the lineup. A Transit Connect competitor. Likewise we would expect the Express not to be replaced by the Combo, but by the Movano. But the Movano is a Renault (read that as Nissan) design. Clearly that won’t work, particularly if the Movano outsells Nissan’s NV….which it most certainly will. So GM has a serious dilemma. It simply does not have its own “Euro” full-size van to sell. It will have to develop one, which will take time, unfortunately. Remember, folks, that these arrangements were in place before the bankruptcy/restructuring. They can’t just up and cancel and create things on the spot. There are hurdles that the armchair analyst simply cannot see from his vantage point.
The article is about GM’s apparent lack of intent to pursue compact vans, while pointing out that the full-sized vans are beginning to fossilize. So, while those are good observations, they’re not what this article is focusing on.
GM needs to produce a small cargo van to compete with Ford’s Transit Connect, especially its electric version. Sine GM already has Voltec technology and will bring a BEV Spark, this should be the basics for a new small electric van. Car drivers don’t appreciated the advantages for a small electric van, but those who do mobile services (handypersons, messengers, light cargo) need a van that will not burn gas on city streets and urban areas. I must include the USPS and even other mail carriers which travel at slow speeds, make many stops, and spend more time inside their vehicles that actual traveling.
Come on, GM! You once sold vehicles to the USPS and then let Ford and Jeep take over. Do the right thing!
The platform already exists for a smaller more economical cargo type van. The Traverse/Acadia PLUS it could be had in FWD and AWD ! Nissan (Renault) modified the Titan to push, the super expensive & terribly high maintenance, Sprinter to the ropes. I’ve heard that FedEx is working (begging) with GM to build a “walk-in” Express/Savana so that they can dump the Sprinter from their fleet. Why anybody would buy a Transit Express is beyond me, made in Turkey?, under powered, expensive, can’t stand up in it, 40,000 mile less warranty than most other brands.
Sorry, Transit Connect ! oooppppsssss
AmericanPatrick is correct. GM has a platform in place with its new small pickup the Colorado. the advances made since the demise of the Astro/Safari vans in 2005 would surely draw fleet type attention if GM where to drop a small cargo/passenger van body on this well though out Colorado platform. Love the diesel option