Nissan to Supply Cargo Vans to General Motors

Nissan Motor Co. plans to supply compact cargo vans to General Motors Co. for sale as a Chevrolet brand vehicle in the U.S. and Canada, the first such project in the region for the two automakers.

GM, the largest U.S. automaker, will source vehicles based on Nissan’s NV200 light truck from Japan’s second-biggest carmaker, with sales to begin next year, the companies said in a joint statement yesterday. Pricing and details of the GM version, to be sold as the Chevrolet City Express, will be announced later, they said.

“Our fleet customers have asked us for an entry in the commercial small van segment, so this addition to the Chevrolet portfolio will strengthen our position with fleets and our commercial customers,” Ed Peper, GM’s U.S. vice president of fleet and commercial sales, said in the statement.

The supply arrangement is a first in North America for Detroit-based GM and Yokohama, Japan-based Nissan, which builds the NV200 in Mexico. While GM has worked with Nissan alliance partner Renault SA in Europe, and the U.S. and Japanese companies make a van in Europe, they’ve not previously had a similar project for the U.S. and Canada, said Travis Parman, a Nissan spokesman.

GM is turning to Nissan to supply vans as Ford Motor Co.’s U.S. deliveries of its Transit Connect van are rising. Transit Connect sales rose 10 percent to 35,216 in 2012 and surged 28 percent this year through April to 13,205.

GM and Nissan didn’t provide financial details of their arrangement.

Shares of GM rose 1.8 percent to $31.55 at the close in New York trading. GM has gained 9.4 percent this year, compared with a 16 percent rise in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Nissan gained 3.6 percent to 1,138 yen as of 9:14 a.m. in Tokyo trading.

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