General Motors Co. signed an agreement with Nissan on May 14 to sell a small cargo vehicle in the United States and Canada called the Chevrolet City Express that Nissan will produce, according to the automakers.
GM will acquire the vehicle from Nissan to distribute through the Chevrolet dealer network. The new vehicle is based on the design of the Nissan NV200, a compact commercial vehicle already available in the U.S.
“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 Nissan NV200 was named a winner of the International Van of the Year award. The vehicle offers low running costs, efficient engines and drivetrains, and a safety structure that minimizes crash damage, according to Nissan.
Although the price of the Chevrolet City Express has not been announced, the vehicle will be available for sale in fall 2014 to individual customers as well as fleet buyers. Nissan has been trying to aggressively find new uses for its small NV200, including it as the “taxi of tomorrow,” the mainstay of New York’s cab fleet, according to USA Today.
In creating a Chevrolet version of the NV200, Nissan solves a problem for GM. With the success of Ford’s small Transit Connect, the pressure has been on GM to find a match. By partnering with Nissan, GM cuts years of development time and expense, the publication reported.