For Sale By:Dealer
Model: Sierra 2500
Exterior Color: White
Interior Color: Gray
Number of Cylinders: 8
Winter Garden, Florida, United States
Fans of truck-based, light-duty vans can officially pour one out for the Chevrolet Express 1500 and GMC Savana 1500, as General Motors has officially put its long-serving big/little rigs out to pasture. Things aren't quite as sad as they sound, though. The heavier-duty 2500 and 3500 vans will soldier on, in order to duke it out with the largest members of Ram ProMaster, Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter families.
The move does seem to make a lot of sense. According to GM, customers only purchase the 1500-spec Chevrolet 23 percent of the time, while the GMC captures a mere 7 percent of the Savana family's sales. With numbers like that, it's no shock that GM thinks it can shift some of its buyers into its van family's more capable variants. "We knew we could move a lot of our 1500 customers into 2500-series territory," said GM's Joe Langhauser, the product manager for the company's full-size vans.
It's not just simple sales figures dictating the move, though. The 1500 line is taking up some valuable factory space that will be better spent on an eagerly anticipated new product.
According to a report by France's La Tribune cited by Reuters, General Motors and Peugeot are discussing the possibility of selling PSA Peugeot-Citroën commercial vans in the US through The General's dealership network. While specific models and what brand they may sell under stateside are not immediately clear, the move isn't entirely out of the blue, particularly since GM owns seven percent of the French automaker.
Peugeot and GM already have a joint-venture agreement to ease costs associated with vehicle development and procuring parts, and while the progress of the arrangement has been inhibited some by Europe's difficult economy, the two automakers are looking to expand the relationship. With sales in the dumpster, Peugeot's long-term prospects have looked particularly shaky as of late, and GM could use a modern commercial van lineup to better compete with North America's suddenly modern and Euro-fied competition. Mercedes-Benz kicked off the high-roof trend with its Sprinter, and for 2014, Ford is following with its Transit van (joining its smaller Transit Connect sibling), while Chrysler is leveraging its relationship with Fiat to rebrand the Ducato range of vans as Ram Promaster models.
Peugeot already has a full line of commercial van solutions in its stable, from its compact Partner and Bipper models to the larger Expert and Boxer models, which are available in a variety of cargo and people-carrying configurations.
In recent years, there have been a lot of dire pronouncements made about Lincoln's future, or a lack thereof. But Ford's premium marque is like the Rocky Balboa of the auto business; every time the company seems ready to go, it comes back for more. Apparently, that dogged persistence is paying off, because the industry analysts at AutoPacific have put a big check in their win column with their newly released 2014 model year vehicle satisfaction survey. And despite recent enmity for its seemingly never-ending recall saga, it appears General Motors knows how to satisfy new owners, too.
In fact, not only was Lincoln named as the premium brand with the highest new owner satisfaction, even scored three models on the list of passenger cars with the most gratified buyers - the MKS, MKZ and MKZ Hybrid.
GM's stable of brands was also among the top companies in this year's survey. GMC was named the top popular brand by AutoPacific, with its Sierra pickup and Acadia crossover singled out for awards in their segments. Chevrolet also did incredibly well, with more cars on the list than any other brand. The Corvette, Camaro, Sonic and Impala all made the cut in their respective categories.