GM built their last 1500 series van at the Wentzville, Missouri assembly plant this past week. GM claims that the vans will die to make room for the all new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks at the Wentzville plant, but that’s not the full story.
The real story is a combination of slow sales and an increasingly disadvantageous position in GM’s average fuel economy. The 1500 vans weren’t light enough to sneak under the CAFE cutoff point, but their thirst meant that they were bad for GM’s overall CAFE average.
In its place, we will get the smaller, Nissan-based, unibody City Express. GM may be cribbing a van from Nissan, but they’re far from alone in killing off their body-on-frame vans. The Ford Econoline also bit the dust earlier this year.