General Motors Acknowledges Corpse of Chevrolet City Express

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

General Motors has officially confirmed the discontinuation of the Chevrolet City Express work van, which the automaker has sourced from Nissan since 2014. Its sister vehicle, the Nissan NV200, is one of the many vehicles you see serving as a replacement for the Ford Crown Victoria in New York City’s taxi fleet.

However, the City Express is a vehicle you’ve probably never noticed, as they don’t sell particularly well. General Motors moved 8,348 in the United States for 2017, which — believe it or not — was one of its better years. Meanwhile, Ford had a pretty mediocre year with its Transit Connect, managing only 34,473 deliveries. It looks like General Motors is willing to concede the segment to its Blue Oval rival as the NV200 soldiers on sans the Chevy badge.

Considering the abysmal sales record of the City Express, this confirmation isn’t a huge surprise. Dealers reported losing the ability to place orders for the compact commercial van and were informed to stop taking orders from customers last year. There were also gripes about the lack of compatibility with GM parts, since it’s essentially a rebranded Nissan.

According to Automotive News, assembly officially ended in February with General Motors only acknowledging the model’s discontinuation recently. We already knew it was a goner, but the automaker wasn’t making much noise about it at the time.

A spokesman for GM declined to comment on reasons for the move or if the vehicle is expected to be replaced. Either way, the decision won’t affect the company’s bigger, body-on-frame Chevrolet Express or GMC Savana — both of which outsold the City Express multiple times over.

[Images: General Motors]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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2 of 36 comments
  • IanGTCS IanGTCS on Jul 17, 2018

    I think I have seen one of these driving around, and had to look up what it was when that happened. I honestly didn't realize that they were still on sale, and haven't noticed one since that first sighting. I also don't know if I have ever seen the nissan version, although I do notice a fair number of full size Nissan vans. The connect is really common around here, probably at least 10-1 over the ram for small vans.

  • Oberkanone Oberkanone on Jul 17, 2018

    Local Nissan dealer just delivered 22 NV200 to a regional utility company. Utility tested small number of City Express for 2 years and moved the order to Nissan when Chevrolet stopped selling these. I was shocked as the utility has only ordered domestics in the past 30 years plus. 22 is not a huge number. What has been surprising is how much effort Nissan makes in the commercial market for a small number of sales. Nissan is in the commercial market for the long haul, one sale at a time.

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