But not the Nissan NV200
Ford makes the Transit Connect, but if you’re like us, you may have forgotten Chevrolet has its own small van called the City Express. Essentially a rebadged Nissan NV200, it entered the market in 2014, but it failed to gain the same sales success as many of its rivals. Now, General Motors has finally pulled the plug.
Speaking with Automotive News, a GM spokesman revealed that City Express production ended in February. The model was built by Nissan in Mexico. Apparently, plans to drop the City Express had been in the works for a while. Dealers received word of the discontinuation last summer, and the automaker took final orders in September 2017.
Under the hood, the City Express featured a 2.0-liter inline-four with 131 hp and 139 lb-ft of torque. When we reviewed its mechanical twin, we found it slow and unstable at highway speeds. Unlike the NV200, however, the City Express was only available as a cargo van. Although the City Express didn’t last long on the market, it seemed like a smart way for Chevy to compete in the new small van segment in the U.S. without having to spend tons of money developing a brand new model.
Chevrolet sold less than 30,000 units of the City Express in the U.S. since its launch. For comparison, the Ford Transit Connect sold 34,473 copies last year alone. Ford recently updated its Transit Connect wagon and cargo van for the 2019 model year. The model also competes with the Ram ProMaster City, which we found accelerates quickly off the line. Fiat Chrysler sold 15,584 copies last year.
Although the City Express is gone, there’s no sign Nissan will discontinue the NV200. The automaker told AN it “remains committed to the compact van segment.” Nissan still commands 25 percent of the compact van category in the U.S., although that number dropped 9.5 percent in 2017 and fell another 7.1 percent this year. NV200 sales totaled 18,602 units in the U.S. last year.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)