GM, Nissan Partner for Cargo Van


General Motors and Nissan announced today that they will team up to produce a small cargo van for the U.S. and Canadian markets; based on Nissan's NV200, it's set to go on sale in 2014.

GM will receive a specific allotment of NV200 vans from Nissan and sell the new product as the Chevy Express City cargo van through its dealership network. The new Chevy commercial vehicle will allow GM to compete directly with the Ford Transit Connect and Ram C/V in this growing segment.

To read more about the GM/Nissan partnership — although few details have been announced so far — from the press release, click here.




All the flack over GMC/Nissan Vans, I didn't read one post, trolled or not about when Ford rebadged the Nissan Quest and called it the Mercury Villager, a different vehicle for sure but I don't see a lot of people saying that it was good or bad...Just saying!

I don't understand why GM chooses to do business like this. If you don't have a product ready, just don't offer it yet. Don't get off on the wrong foot in this new market by rebadging someone elses product. You look foolish. Stuff like this gives them a black eye with the public. Especially after the bailout. If I were buying a van, why would I want this? Why not just go buy the real thing from the Nissan dealer? The service issue is a valid point too. Where do you go for warranty work? It does make Chevrolet look bad because people will think they don't know how to build their own stuff. It's not like you'll be able to go to your Nissan dealer and find a rebadged Chevy and see there was a trade. These guys need a new CEO and fast. Chevrolet as usual is blowing it.

That's 10 years ago. It was a different era. The Nissan Quest and Mercury Villager was a product of a joint venture. Nissan did most of the design work. But Ford provided enough parts that it Villager and Quest counted as a domestic vehicle. Ford handled the manufacturing and assembly. BOTH were built at Ford's assembly plant in Ohio. In GM's case they just provide the badge and Nissan handles all of the design, engineering, manufacturing and assembly...Just saying!

Excuse me, that was 20 years ago. 1993 to 2003. Could have something to do with why you "didn't read one post on it". GM fans are really insulting our intelligence on this.

@Vulpine, Ford, GM and Chrysler also owned stake in those companies of which they rebadged their little trucks. Most did up until a few years back. And with those, your Ford Ranger dealer was also your Mazda dealer etc. None of this is the case with Nissan. And the Pontiac Vibe thing was embarassing to watch as an American. All the time spent bashing Toyota's and here we are rebadging one as our own. As if GM wasn't bad enough with their inhouse rebadging. Sometimes you'd have to get right next to a vehicle to see if it was a Chevrolet,GMC,Olds,Saturn,Pontiac,Buick or Cadillac. I remember that 90's blazer was nearly all of them. They still have this problem with Chevrolet and GMC. I actually think this is worse then the Vibe because Nissan is a new player to the commercial van game and they are going all out with their van lineup to take on Ford's small and soon large Transit series. Toyota never went all out with the Matrix. The public's paying attention this time. I bet Nissan makes a mockery out of Chevy soon over this which is really too bad. The commercial van market is too important to have people laugh at you behind your back.

In closing, I'd have a little more respect for GM if they put their hand in either the engineering or manufacturing/assembly a little bit. It is designed and engineered by Nissan and will be built in Mexico by Nissan.

And on the upcoming GM and Ford tranny design some keep bringing up. It will be 9 and 10 speeds, not 8 speeds. GM and Ford are jointly developing them. Both will be built and tuned separately. So there is no comparison to the one sided Nissan deal.

@Mike, add to it, Nissan was nowhere near the player back then that they are now. There was no internet for instant comparison or chatter either. Nissan also wasn't looking to carve out a huge chunk of the commercial van and even truck market for themselves at the time. Now they are. This is just suicide for Chevy.

What happened to the american vans? Why did they go away? Fuel economy? Dated designs? Of the big three, they are ALL going with not-invented-here? Economy of scale/scope? What? How the heck did this happen? Even the VW van went away.

CJ50, I agree that GM needs a new CEO and management...The goven't is expected to sell all of the GM stock by late this year or early next year. Hopefully at that time GM can clean house and bring in all new management.

@Pablo: Why are the "Big Three" having problems with coming up with new models? Well, if you don't mind a personal opinion, it's because they've become lazy. GM in particular is focusing so much on their trucks that their cars are almost all rebadged Opels or Holdens. The Malibu was an Opel Aura and the Cobalt was the same car as the Saturn Ion, though I don't remember the specific Opel platform that was. I think the Opel Astra, but I'm not certain. I do know I wanted the Astra itself to come over but Saturn was killed before it really got anywhere.

Many Pontiac models were direct rebadges of Holden models and even now the Impala SS for Chevy is a Holden Commodore, as was the Pontiac Bonneville before Pontiac was shut down. I could agree with a so-called 'global' platform within a given company's models, as long as that platform really was Global--for all cars AND trucks. However, GM seems still to be stuck in the concept that they need to build a different type of car for every market region while companies such as Toyota, Mercedes, BMW and others pretty much carry a given model world-wide--with limited exceptions.

Ford seems to understand the Global platform a little better, but they're still working hard to isolate its American cars from its western Pacific models. Interestingly, they're doing remarkably well with combining their European and American platforms--with the exception of their pickup trucks.

Maybe Chrysler will end up being the most Global of the bunch. With its earlier tie to Daimler Benz and its current tie to Fiat, we've seen certain models go two ways, more Chrysler to Europe rather than Fiat to the US--though the Dart is a good first effort for bringing Alfa-Romeo back into the American market while the 500 is showing more acceptance, especially in more heavily populated areas. The Jeep platform is expanding, bringing in another Alfa-based model while expanding the Wrangler to new markets. Even the Chrysler 300 is in Europe as an Alfa-Romeo platform--stretched a bit. (Or is that one a Maserati?)

The point is that at least in America, the manufacturers have become so used to the "American Cars Are The Best" that they've become complacent and honestly don't have any idea why certain models are doing better than others. Ford had a great idea with the Thunderbird reboot, but killed it on both appearance AND performance; they tried to make it look like a '56/'57 T-bird but instead made it look more like the '55 Corvette. They wanted it to be a "Personal Luxury Car" to the point they ignored everything that makes a roadster what it is--intended for fun, not riding around in an oversized barge. They put it on a Jaguar platform, then treated it like a town car. When they tried to make it MORE appealing, they took away many of the things that worked--and continued doing so for two more years before finally giving up.

It seems like only Chrysler has any idea of what they're doing right and it seems like only they are improving on that theme. Now? My wife wants a Fiat 500 Abarth, not any all-American look-alike sports sedan. She's getting one when I trade off my F-150. I'll just get a to tow behind my Jeep.

Maybe GM is waiting to come out with their own midsize van or waiting for an Opel based van that will be compliant with Federal standards. Regardless most commercial users are not really going to care and if this van is badged as a GM product then the GM dealers will service this van. Actually the fact this is a Nissan product has more credibility than many other brands. Yes maybe if you rebadged a Frontier into a Colorado, but you have to look at who will buying these vans.

As for GM needing a new CEO, I completely agree, get rid of Ackerson and get someone that knows something about autos and trucks. GMs Opel based cars are actually very good cars, but I think their marketing of these cars falls short. I have driven the new Chevy and Buick cars based on the Opel platforms and they are much better cars than their predecessors. The cars and trucks are not as much of the problem as much as inept management. In retrospect I do think that keeping Opel was a mistake it is a cash draining appendage.

@Vulpine - a utility trailer is a good idea since it is cheaper than licencing and maintaining 2 separate vehicles. The trailer you linked looks robust but seems vastly over priced. I'm sure that one could find a used army surplus "offroad" trailer for less than the price listed.

I do agree for the most part with your assessment of the USA based automotive industry. GMC is still fixated on being number one in sales. They have yet to clue in that it is much better to be number 3 or 4 in sales but be #1 in profits. Both Ford and VW make considerably higher profits than GMC. VW is ahead of schedule in their goal to be #1 in sales. I'm betting that within a few years, GMC will be knocked down to #3 in sales.

Muscle cars, trucks and Harley's seem to be the last bastion of exclusive USA products. Harley's and muscle cars will go down the drain once us baby boomers leave the market. Full sized 1/2 tons will most likely follow suit. I live in a "pickups as the primary vehicle" part of the world and I'm seeing less of them being driven by young drivers.

Global vehicles will eventually take over most of the USA automotive landscape and that will apply equally to pickups.

I should brace for the flaming I'll get due to that last comment ;)

@Lou--I agree GM needs to concentrate on profitability rather than market share. I don't have a problem with a rebadged van as much as GM trying to compete with itself and having too many different models. GM is considering a midsize rear wheel drive Chevelle while having a Camaro and the soon to be released rear wheel drive Caprice. Also does Buick need a Regal when they now have a Verano and LaCross and now Cadillac wants to have models to match both Chevy and Buick. This is going back to the old GM with all their divisions having the same products competing against each other with little difference between brands. Reduce the number of models and get the quality right then the buyers will buy your product. Too much inventory will result in heavy discounting and cheapen the brand image. This is what GM has done on the outgoing Silverado and Sierra.

Hey, Chrysler learned its lesson. 30 years ago you had Chrysler, Plymouth and Dodge, with almost exactly equivalent models between Plymouth and Dodge--and with the Colt and Neon even the same name. Now they don't have a duplicate car in the bunch--every one is a one-of-a-kind within the Chrysler corporation.

Ford has done the same thing by dumping its Mercury lineup and ensuring the Lincolns have almost no direct relationship with any of the Ford models (with perhaps the exception of the Navigator/Expedition). Maybe--just maybe--GM is learning, if the news I heard from a GM employee is right that there will be no GMC Canyon when the Colorado comes out. As it is, GM killed three of its most popular brands by simply destroying those brands; taking them away from their traditional markets. Sure, it killed off some of the duplicate models, but it also killed off many of their most popular models. Where I live, the '02-'07 Vue is very, very visible but after they went to a complete Opel-based metal body instead of the 'plastic' body it lost one of its strongest selling points--the ability to take everyday dings and bumps without damage. Granted, the Honda V6 powertrain didn't help it any, but the 4cyl version was very popular.

Meanwhile, GM killed the models that they now need to restore--specifically the Astro minivan as a light cargo hauler. Since they can't do that in such a short time to remain competitive, they've been forced to cross-purchase the Nissan NV and sell it under the Chevy badge.

@Lou: While I might agree with you in part about the price of the trailer, I need to point out that the trailer is rated for a 2,000 pound load capacity on a 3,500 pound axle. Believe it or not, it also ends up cheaper than most used military trailers simply because said used trailers are almost impossible to obtain at a lower price. Considering the manufacturer gives you a choice of off-shore fabrication or US fabrication with US assembly, you get roughly the same capabilities with only a vague difference in visual appearance effectively invisible to any who do not already know the difference.

In other words, if you're willing to pay for higher quality, you actually get higher quality; much like Apple computers vs generic PCs. They'll both handle the same kinds of tasks but the higher-priced model will likely last longer than its cheaper cousin.

@Vulpine - reasonable, I've always seen tons of military surplus stuff floating around every time I've been through the USA. I've seen some used military stuff around here too. Never priced it out, but it did look very heavy duty. I've known guys who've built their own HD trailers and they've all said the same thing, they could of bought something new for a similar price. The difference is that they have the peace of mind knowing exactly how well it was built (and the fun of building it). That isn't for everyone though, one would need welding and fabricating skills. Laws are pretty lax here about U-built's and from what I've read, the USA laws are slack too. A common approach is to buy a used 3/4 ton pickup that is near dead, part it out and turn the frame and box into a trailer. The full floating rear end can hold some impressive weight.

It's been well over a decade since the Express received any exmajor exterior updates, all this time has past by and you would think GM would have numerous concepts in the works that could have easily replaced the aging vehicle rather than relying on Nissan to set the example for them.

"Ford: Partnered with Mazda for the Courier and later the Thunderbird. They have shared platforms for several other models in the last 40 years...." Posted by: Vulpine | May 14, 2013 3:47:34 PM

Ford OWNED over 30% of Mazda.

G.M. NEVER owned any of Toyota.

Does Nissan have a factory in the USA or Mexico for these vans?

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