City Express is GM's Last Commercial Hope (For Now) - Chevy City Express Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-28-2014, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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City Express is GM's Last Commercial Hope (For Now)



Easily one of the strangest times at the Silver Silos delivers us with an equally strange product predicament for the General. A long standing player in the commercial market, GM is currently without a linchpin product.

First lets consider the death of the Express 1500 tin can van. While its success has tapered off from the early 2000's, Chevrolet was still moving ~70K Express' per year. Granted much of the tapering has been a result of the smaller more nimble commercial vans coming online in recent years. The GMC Savana accounted for another 15-20K sales per year in the commercial market. In one fell swoop GM will be losing nearly 100,000 units from their commercial program.

Granted 100,000 units is not going to end a monolith the size of GM, but it certainly exacerbates another problem.

The Silverado is the most uncompetitive it has been in years and thats off the back of a complete redesign. Consumers have been underwhelmed with what appears (on the outside mind you) to be only a slight refresher. GM will be redesigning the Silverado again for next year at significant cost.

This is where it gets interesting. Silverado is still putting up similar numbers to its pre redesign, yet Chevrolet has been piling cash on the hoods in order to move them. Silverado's we're being sold at cost during May for example. They are losing gobs of money on this flub right now, between thin margins, cash on the hood and an unscheduled redesign GM could use a hero right now.

Could that hero be the City Express? The City Express will never be able to replace all the lost volume of the Express/Savana but they can at least stem the tide. As an example lets look at the effects Ford's Transit Connect had on their sales of the E-Series.

The TC showed up in NA in 2009, which coincided with a sharp downturn for E-Series sales. Of course not all of that is attributed to the TC, as 2009 shell shocked business and froze cap ex significantly. So lets fast forward to where the TC has established itself on the market and the E-Series has clawed back some of what it had lost post meltdown.

E-Series

2003: 161,721
2004: 171,018
2005: 179,543
2006: 180,457
2007: 168,722
2008: 124,596

2009: 85,735
2010: 108,258
2011: 116,874
2012: 122,423
2013: 125,356

Transit Connect

2009: 8,834
2010: 27,405
2011: 31,914
2012: 35,216
2013: 39,703

Lets consider 2008 and 2009 as anomalies, so using the 2007 values to the 2010 values, we see that the E-Series dropped 35% of its value. Is any of that attributable to the Transit Connect? Well the TC's volume in 2010 was 25% of what the E-series had in the same time period. And using the 2011 (27.3%) and 2012 (28.7%) values we can see that the TC stays consistent. While not a perfect correlation its clear that the TC certainly has stolen volume from the E-Series.

What will this mean for GM? Hopefully that the City Express can help stop the bleeding currently coming from GM's commercial operations.

Last edited by cityexpressadmin; 07-28-2014 at 04:57 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-29-2014, 03:27 PM
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I'm not sure if the City Express is going to make up a significant market share. Ford is seen as the standard with these types of vehicles, and that is a hard thing to overcome. It might be a bit of a losing battle but GM has to fight it. They will still make a profit. I see it as an extension of the truck segment.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-29-2014, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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The one boon to the city express is that the express is no longer around. Many buyers end up in a larger 1500 van when really all they need is something CE sized. So I'm figuring the City Express may have even more interest from buyers as the CE is no longer available, and the Transit/Promasters are significantly more expensive and larger than the old 1500 tin cans.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-29-2014, 06:36 PM
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At least with it still being new they can do things over the years to really improve it from where it is now.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-31-2014, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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whats wrong where it is now? And GM can't actually do anything to it, the City Express comes from Nissan, all product development is in their camp...
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-01-2014, 05:25 PM
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Not that anything is wrong with it but to me it's more of a question of what can they add to it.
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-23-2016, 06:23 AM
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I think they should offer it in an All Wheel Drive Version.
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-02-2016, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech14 View Post
I think they should offer it in an All Wheel Drive Version.
As great as that would be, they'll want something to stimulate sales and i can't imagine AWD doing anything much for that. Too much of a cost for them possibly.
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