The Chevrolet City Express is just one part of a larger trend that is happening in the commercial van market. American design is being left behind in favor of Euro-designed vans that are breathing new life into a segment that has been doing the same thing since basically the 1960s. Starting in 2004, the Dodge Sprinter came to the market to kick off the trend, but things really got underway this year with the release of vans from various automakers.
Since the 1960s Gm, Ford and Chrysler have been building heavy body-on-frame construction, one-size roof that isn't very suitable for standing up in the back, poor handling and fuel efficiency. Now van designs from Asia and Europe have challenged those norms in the American market.
Take a look at the list of Asian and European vans that have been released since 2004 in the US:
Dodge Sprinter, 2004, rear-wheel-drive, full-size
Ford Transit Connect, 2010, FWD compact
Nissan NV, 2012, RWD full-size
Nissan NV200, 2013, FWD compact
Ram ProMaster, 2014, FWD full-size
Ford Transit, 2015, RWD full-size
Ram ProMaster City, 2015, FWD compact
Chevrolet City Express, 2015, FWD compact
Mercedes-Benz Citan, 2015, FWD compact
More efficient, and better set up for commercial use, these models will be favored by businesses. Something has to be said for the loss of older models like the GM Savana or the old Dodge Ram van simply because of the ridiculous customization that these vehicles have seen. They have a place in pop culture that the new vans do not. That is a small thing to give up for the superior design that the new wave of Euro vans is bringing to North American shores.