The death of these vans is a direct result of Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (CAFE), which split up light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles based on an 8,500 gross-vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Since GM’s 1500-series vans qualify as light-duty vehicles, they are included in Chevy’s overall CAFE rating.
Now, all Chevy Express and GMC Savanna vans sold will exceed an 8,500 lb GVWR, so that they are counted as heavy-duty vehicles and not counted in Chevy’s overall efficiency score.
SEE ALSO: 2015 Chevy City Express Details
Dwindling sales and the need for more space at the Wentzville, Mo. plant where the vans are manufactured also factored into the decision. GM’s new midsize pickup trucks, the Colorado and Canyon, will be built in Wentzville, and the factory is currently gearing up to accommodate them.
The company also says that just 23 percent of Express and 7 percent of Savana sales are 1500 models, with customers overwhelmingly preferring the 2500, 3500 and 4500 versions of the vans.
To partially fill in the gap left behind, Chevy is introducing the City Express this year. It is a small cargo van that will compete with the Ford Transit Connect, using a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine hooked up to a CVT to achieve much better fuel economy than the large vans did.
[Source: Pickup Trucks.com]
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