Vanning is seeing a resurgence in interest. Whether from the #vanlife movement or just nostalgia, panel vans are seeing interest and prices rising. Chevy makes the perfect van for these types of transformations but there is a problem. Its new 2022 Tornado Van is not sold in the US.
Why doesn’t Chevy sell the Tornado Van here?
Chevy builds those huge, lumbering Express Vans. While they work well strictly for commercial applications, they don’t work or have the same appeal as Chevy’s previous generations of vans. But this all-new Tornado Van is the perfect incarnation of those hippie vans from the 1960s and 1970s. Why doesn’t Chevy sell them here?
Right now, Chevy is getting ready to roll out the new Tornado Vans in Mexico. It has only been available in “emerging markets” according to GM Authority. That means countries that need a stripped-down, inexpensive van application. In South America, it has been sold as the N400 van. The N400, in turn, is a Wuling Hong Guang V van sold and manufactured in China.
The Tornado isn’t as big as the 1970s vans, but it looks the part
The only vehicle close to the Tornado that Chevy marketed before is the Chevy Montana. It is a small pickup truck like the Hyundai Santa Cruz. Chevy sees the Tornado Van as a low-cost, versatile vehicle that is agile in crowded town squares. It is not as large as those 1970s vans, but it looks the part.
The cargo area measures 82.7-inches by 57-inches wide with 50-inches top to bottom. The total volume is 115.8 cubic feet. It is rated at 1,433 lbs for hauling. Power is from a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 103 hp and 108 lb. ft of torque. It only comes with a five-speed manual transmission.
“The 2022 Chevrolet Tornado Van is a great alternative for entrepreneurs and established businesses, whether they are small, medium, or large companies,” said Marketing Manager for Chevrolet at GM Mexico, Yammil Guaida, in a statement. “It’s a versatile, practical, and functional vehicle that combines a suitable value proposition to satisfy the needs of customers and become the best ally for their businesses.”
The Tornado’s base price is $13,930 which would appeal to many in the US
For those ordering a Tornado Van in Mexico right now, GM is offering $1,000 off of the sticker price or 19,000 MXN. This is a pre-sale discount only. The base price is $13,930. That in itself would endear it to many vanners and businesses looking for an inexpensive alternative to $70,000 Silverados and GMC Sierras.
Even Chevy Express vans are twice that selling price. So it is puzzling that Chevy wouldn’t give the Tornado Van a try in the US. The closest thing it has is the City Express van. But it faded away after 2018 without a replacement. The City Express was just a rebadged Nissan NV200 which has been phased out of production this year.
So the Tornado Van is a replacement for the hole left with the cancellation of Nissan’s NV200. It has more of the classic van proportions that did the NV200 and is being built in Mexico like the Nissan van. So, why not put it into the Chevy pipeline and give it a shot in the US?
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