From Canopy to City: Chevrolet Means Small Business

History with segment dates to the 1930s 

DETROIT – Ever since vendors have peddled produce to passers-by on the streets of busy cities, Chevrolet has provided vehicles that allows them to reach their customers.

Beginning in 1936, Chevrolet sold the Chevrolet Canopy Pickup – a vehicle based on the popular FB-series half-ton pickup truck. Owners could upfit these vehicles with an optional canvas canopy top and side-drop curtains. During its first model year, Chevrolet saw truck registrations top 200,000 units for the first time in company history.

Thirteen years later, the Chevrolet Canopy Express was unveiled. It was one of 345,000 Chevy Trucks built in 1949. Both the 3100 Series (half-ton) and 3800 Series (1-ton) included variants of the Express model. The 3800 was heavier duty and sported a low rear tailgate and waterproof roll-up curtains, allowing sellers easier access and better protection for their products.

“Before super markets became commonplace, vendors brought produce and baked goods to the buying public in city neighborhoods and the suburbs that were beginning to sprout up across the country at that time,” said Greg Wallace, manager, General Motors Heritage Center. “The Canopy Express body type was suited for any job that needed easy access to the bed of a truck.”

Both vehicles were forerunners of the all-new Chevrolet City Express, a smaller, maneuverable cargo van that, like its predecessors, gives companies like Vital Media Security and Smokey D’s BBQ the same selling power their entrepreneurial brethren enjoyed nearly 80 years ago.

“To this day, small business owners need to remain nimble in a crowded business environment and still be able to reach their customers in a timely manner,” said Ed Peper, vice president, GM Fleet and Commercial. “As we’re already seeing with some of our small business customers, the City Express, with its cargo hauling flexibility and efficient fuel economy, allows them to do just that.”

The addition to Chevrolet’s stable of vehicles offers 122.7 cubic feet (3,474 liters) of customizable cargo space, 24 mpg in the city, and an estimated payload capacity of 1,500 pounds.

To learn more about Chevrolet fleet vehicle options, visit www.gmfleet.com.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling around 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

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