General Motors has turned to Nissan Motor Co. to put Chevrolet dealers into the small cargo van market.
According to Automotive News, GM said it will rebadge Nissan’s new four-cylinder NV200 commercial van as the Chevrolet City Express in the fall of 2014.
The Nissan NV200, built in Cuernavaca, Mexico, went on sale at Nissan dealerships only last month.
The compact van segment is slowly attracting automaker interest. Until now, Ford Motor Co. has enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the category with its Ford Transit Connect van. The smaller vehicles are being pitched as small-engine, fuel-efficient alternatives to the aging, full-sized commercial vans, a segment where the Detroit 3 have held sway for decades.
GM now wants a piece of the compact van segment.
“Our fleet customers have asked us for an entry in the commercial small van segment,” Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM fleet and commercial sales, said in a joint statement released by GM and Nissan. “So this addition to the Chevrolet portfolio will strengthen our position with fleets and our commercial customers.”
Nissan itself has broader hopes for the van, which is approximately the size of a Nissan Sentra. Nissan also intends to sell an electric version of the van and is on tap to produce a taxi version in an exclusive deal with New York City.