As General Motors’ competition introduces and invests in new large-van products, mostly for commercial use in the U.S., GM itself has seriously lagged behind. That becomes apparent according to the latest report form WardsAuto.
Once a mainstay for commercial use, the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savanna have been overlooked as the Ford Transit and Ram Promaster begin to scoop up sales in GM’s domestic market. Yes, Chevrolet has begun rebadging the Nissan NV200 as the Chevrolet City Express, but it hardly fits the bill as a large van.
Combined sales of the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savanna have tumbled 36 percent, but reasoning can also be conjured from the fact the Wentzville, MO plant has shifted production heavily for the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. If Colorado and Canyon sales stay as hot as they have been, it may be hard to balance the market’s needs.
General Motors may court Nissan into rebadging its NV Cargo vans, just as it does with the NV200, if GM doesn’t want to invest capital into updating its Express and Savanna vans. Newly-tied partner Isuzu also manufactures the Reach commercial van, should GM decide to strengthen its ties.
But, there’s also a solution sitting inside GM itself: Opel. Opel manufactures highly-competitive large vans, and the Movano and Vivaro would fit the bill quite well in the U.S. if you ask us. It’s a matter of if General Motors sees the cost of importing, or producing them locally, outweighs the profit in the segment.
The Express and Savanna crowd will stick around, but not forever as the vans continue to age as they are.