Car giant General Motors is teaming up with Lear, the fifth largest auto supplier in the world, to produce full-size luxury vans in the fourth quarter for sale, in 2001, according to Automotive News (28/6/00).

GM plans to build between 10,000 to 15,000 Chevrolet Express LT and GMC Savana SLTs in Wentville, Mo., every year. These vehicles would then be sent to a nearby Lear site – probably Wentzville – to have complete interiors alongside some exterior trim installed. They would then be shipped back to GM for distribution to dealers.

Although GM has not announced prices, the vehicles would retail for between $34,000 to $37,000, and would be available in dealerships in January, according to John Graydash, Brand Manager in charge of GM Operations.

Increase market share within this sector, while also dispelling the idea of poor quality within conversion vans are said to be the reasons why GM has embarked upon this venture, while Lear has agreed to the alliance because it provides the opportunity for future complete interior installations.

The move is a first for both companies, with GM not previously having produced a full-size luxury van, while Lear has never installed entire interiors in production vehicles.