The battle of the vans is heating up, but the old adage “you can win if you don’t play” hold true for General Motors. Nissan and Ford are in a great position to grab sales in the States with a cargo van for commercial use with small businesses, or large businesses with a need for a smaller delivery vehicle. Ford has been playing with its successful Transit Connect, and soon with have an entry with the Transit van. Nissan also entered the segment with the large NV, and with the recently on-sale Nissan NV 200. Even Chrysler has announced its intentions to play in the sandbox with the Italian Fiat Ducato (which recently was renamed the Ram ProMaster for the large commercial van). Which left GM with nothing to offer but a surprised look on its face.
The quickest fix for the General was to extend a warm and hearty handshake, along with a wad of cash, to Nissan and ask if it had any extra vans to sell, they’d be happy to take them off their hands. Hence, the announcement of the 2014 Chevrolet City Express van, a rebadged Nissan NV 200 that should stop the phone calls from angry dealers wanting to know what they had to go against the competitive product.
It’s a fair tradeoff. Nissan will get some needed cash, and GM will have a competitive product on the showroom floor. But we don’t know what Nissan is going to charge GM for the privilege of putting a bowtie on the grille. The NV200 starts at $19,990, and Chevrolet has yet to announce pricing for the City Express.
It’s going to be a fun segment to watch, and to see how long before GM can come up with a product all its own.