By on December 5, 2013

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After talk of increasing the seperation between Chevrolet and Opel, GM has announced that it will axe the Chevrolet brand in Europe, despite previously aiming to make Chevrolet its low-cost brand, while signing a nine-year, $584 million deal to have the brand sponsor Manchester United football club.

Poor sales of Chevrolet were blamed as the major culprit, with volumes for the brand were estimated to be about 180,000 units, with the bulk of the models being rebadged Daewoos. Axing the brand will reportedly cost GM $1 billion. GM hasn’t said how it will handle the brand’s 1,900 strong dealer network, but Chevrolet will apparently remain in Russia, where its cars are somewhat more popular.

Not long ago, GM was busy touting Chevrolet as a “world brand”, one that could compete in Europe, despite unfavorable market conditions and an internal rivalry with Opel, which occupies roughly the same market space. There was even talk of an end to South Korea imports and production on the continent, but that dream is now over.

While certain models like the Corvette and Camaro will stay on, Chevrolet’s lack of success in Europe, combined with its attempt to move upmarket with products like the Cruze wagon, but it on a collision course with Opel, which is also struggling in a cutthroat, declining European car market.

 

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85 Comments on “Chevrolet Brand Dead In Europe...”


  • avatar
    Robbie

    Tiny tinny Daewoos were apparently not quite the thing for Europe.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    They won’t be missed over there, they were always the cheapest crap available there compared to other brands and models.

  • avatar
    doug-g

    Off topic, but Joel Ewanick told me that the real problems between he and Dan Akerson began when Akerson invited him to lunch at Olive Garden and Joel caught Akerson trying to steal his meatballs.

  • avatar
    Onus

    I imagine it will continue on in Russia. Like it says its popular and has a full line from cars to suvs including things like the tahoe, and colorado based trailblazer. Opel not so much except maybe used ones that were imported before the insane tariffs and recycling fees that they have today.

    Russia also has local production that is relatively recent and i doubt they will throw that way.

    The only way gm will solve this problem is to combine both opel and Chevrolet. Sell by whatever brand is popular but the same cars.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Russia is selling mainly rebadged Daewoos which make little profit. It seems to sell every other car on the planet in that huge country(landmass)

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        They are selling Cruze, Aveo ( Sonic ), all the normal stuff we have here and they aren’t any cheaper. The Cruze is very popular.

        Most of the population is in cities in the eastern half. The Russians never got the whole suburb thing. Intercity transportation is handled by trains.

        taking a sleeping train in the winter is a wonderful experience, i took one and we had stopped in a siding, looking into the forest at night with nothing but snow a trees, wonderful sight.

        Just get good snow / cold weather gear. I was 450km north of moscow it was -30c one day but nothing a good jacket wont handle.

  • avatar
    Polar Bear

    Previously, Chevrolet was known in Europe as the brand with the classic 1950s cars from Harley Earl. Now it is known as the brand with the stinky rebadged Korean cars. Great job, GM. I guess GM management got a bonus for wasting a few billion dollars on this.

    • 0 avatar
      Johannes Dutch

      Not that long ago we had the Trailblazer and the Tahoe, both officially imported. Of course these were rarities on the road, but at least the logo on the grille matched with the cars and the brand as we knew it. Just like the Corvette and the grey import pick-up trucks.

      At the same time we had the utterly low budget yesteryear Daewoo cars from the Far East, a newcomer price-fighter on the market.
      By the way, later on it turned out that the depreciation was higher than the purchase price.

      Suddenly the Trailblazer and Tahoe were gone and the Daewoos became Chevrolets. Of course nobody buys that. No entrance on the local US car shows for these bastards.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      My comment from 1950′s cars with fins to Korean Daewoo

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Is this game-changing?

  • avatar
    NN

    GM loves p!ssing money away in Europe…buy part of Fiat, pay Fiat $2 billion to go away, buy part of VM Motori, practically give it away to Fiat, introduce an All-American brand in Europe to sell crappy Korean cars from a failed automaker in a patronizing and arrogant manner, close the brand down (lose $1 billion), buy part of PSA, get out of PSA, etc. All the while largely ignoring or trying to figure out how to shed liabilities of their relatively competent German brand.

    This is a big win for Opel and European auto industry in general…that 180k sales will be gladly absorbed by other companies there. In the long term, probably good for GM, too, as Opel’s engineering resources will be kept afloat and benefit GM platforms worldwide. It’s a loss for Korean unions, but with rising costs in South Korea and their militant unions this is coming one way or another to them.

    In other words, this is probably the smartest move GM has made in Europe out of all the incompetent and idiotic ones listed above.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      Gm does some pretty dumb things.

      It seems we know what they should do but, they don’t see it. Really all they have to do is invest in opel that make competitive cars, which they don’t at the moment. In fact most of opel’s models are old with slight refreshes here and there while competitors have been coming out with brand new cars.

      Put buick in the us and china under opel so opel can get some funds and let it do its thing.

      • 0 avatar
        motormouth

        I beg to differ. Opel actually has some quite new models, including the Astra, Mokka (Trax) and the Adam. The Insignia has just gone through its mid-life refresh (par for the course) so that really only leaves the Corsa as old, but I understand that’s imminently due for replacement, with the new three-cylinder engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      Don’t forget Saab..

  • avatar
    Robbie

    There must be some room for selling inexpensive cars in Europe to city dwellers who do not particularly use a car much. For many Europeans, it just does not make sense to have an expensive heavily taxed car sitting there unused for most of the week. The Daewoos didn’t do it – the question now is what inexpensive vehicle can be a hit in Euroland.

    • 0 avatar

      Dacia

    • 0 avatar
      JJ_2

      Meh…Personally I live in the Netherlands, which has particularly heavy taxes on cars compared to almost all other Euro nations, but many of the taxations is based on either fuel consumption or the weight of the car. Of course there is still also VAT (at 21% currently) but the ones that really get you are not proportionate to the gross value of the car. This means that small, economical lightweight cars that are still well built with nice materials (almost any European car in he ‘VW Polo segment’ nowadays) or have some kind of ‘fashion’ appeal (like the FIAT 500 or MINI) are relatively affordable when compared with cheaply built cars of the same size and with the same fuel consumption (your average Daevrolet) a bigger proportion of the sale price goes towards the car and comparatively a lesser part goes to the gubment. People who do opt to have a car (mind you 30% of families are ‘no car households’ here) often go that route.

      The bargain basement segment does exist but to really be cheaper (to buy and to run) you have to offer a light car with a very small engine so it will be fuel efficient and therefore the tax is minimal…Enter the dreadful PSA/Toyoda C1/107/Aygo. And now Veedub has made the VW/Skoda/SEAT Up/Citigo/Mii as an answer…

      The Dacia(s) you mention don’t really register on sales charts, at least not here in this country, for the same reason the Daevrolets don’t/didn’t. I mean they have some moderate succes and an aggressive marketing campaign to keep the brand in the public eye so given the fact that development costs are probably pretty minimal for them with the old Renault hardware they use they may turn a bit of profit but I don’t see it lasting really. The taxations just make it almost impossible to compete on cost in any of the established segments. To give an extreme example; the Camaro (which is basically a big power for low prices proposition) is 95K over here due to progressive tax rates on CO2s emmitted…95K Euros that is. So couple that to the cheaptastic interior and nobody buys one.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Public Transport. They use a lot of it. If you need a car fine if not use the very cheap/reliable and fast public transport.

    • 0 avatar
      Johannes Dutch

      Lots of cheap, small, basic and fuel efficient “grocery getters” to choose from:

      VW Up ~ Seat Mii ~ Skoda Citigo (same car)
      Toyota Aygo ~ Peugeot 107 ~ Citroën C1 (same car)
      Opel Agila ~ Suzuki Splash (same car)
      Suzuki Alto
      Renault Twingo
      Fiat Panda
      Mitsubishi Space Star
      Kia Picanto
      Hyundai i10

      That about wraps it up I believe.

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    Imagine if those Chevrolet brand-building resources would have been used to build Opel. I don’t know Europe very well, but I saw very few bowtie-adorned grills in Europe this past spring. I saw more newer Opels and they have been a troubled brand. Hindsight is 20-20 but I never felt that Chevrolet was better than Opel.

  • avatar
    stephenjmcn

    Interesting regarding the sponsorship – $584 million to advertise on a football shirt a product that you can’t buy anywhere on that team’s home continent.

    I wonder if that sponsorship will swap over to Vauxhall? They already sponsor the national teams of Scotland, England, and Wales. However you can only buy a Vauxhall in the UK, so that’s worthless in terms of worldwide exposure.

    Just looks like a mess to me….

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Man United is a global brand. It’s a good tie-in for Asia and the Middle East.

    • 0 avatar
      JJ_2

      Yeah that’s pretty funny in its messed-up ness.Yeah that’s pretty funny in its messed-up ness.

      It’s almost like they wanted to make sure that the guy they fired who made this deal won’t get to be right in the end.

      1 Hey…about this guy…uhm whatshisface…the one we fired over the that soccer club deal…
      2 Pff soccer…freakin girl’s sport…Yeah what about him.
      1 Well what if by some kind of godforsaken miracle, it works and Chevy becomes a succes in Europe…
      2 Chevy a succes in Europe…yeah right…but euhm, yeah…if hell freezes over and it does, we would look pretty inept…
      1 Yeah we would! Plus I never liked the guy…so full of himself, knowing him he’ll probably be harping on on how right he was to anyone in the industry who will listen to him till the day he crokes…
      2 That would DEFINATELY not be a good look for us
      1 It would not. So we’re on the same page here?
      2 You mean…I mean…no…we can’t just go do THAT right?
      1 Well think about it…You want to face this guy’s smug face in 4 years bumping into you at NAIAS?
      2 Well…Heck no
      1 That’s what I mean
      2 Yes…I see your point. Ok, I’ll call PR, have them draw up something about brand focus yadda yadda and maybe some BS about Opel…hey wait…in fact that actually works out…we sell it like we throw those damn Germans a bone…get them of our backs for a while.
      1 BOOM! And when life hands you a gift you open it…See that’s why I like you, you always know how to look at the positives
      2 As always my friend, you’re absolutely right, can’t believe this issue actually escaped my attention for this long already…
      1 Well…One tries, one tries…So..See you at the course on Saturday?
      2 Sure, can’t wait to show you these new clubs I got…
      1 Cool…but new clubs or not I’m still going to beat your ass!
      2 Ha! Well we’ll see about that…ok gotta run now, I’m late for lunch, think I’ll have some of those tiny meatballs today
      1 Heh heh…I see what you did there…ok later buddy…

      • 0 avatar
        Mullholland

        Truthiness or pure fiction?
        Either way this timeless and accurate portrait of GM’s institutional douchbagishness is the best post I’ve read on this site in a long, long while.
        Nice work, buddy.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      “Just looks like a mess to me….” A disastrous one best way to sum it up. This whole sorry fiasco.

  • avatar
    areader

    I’d sure like to see and hear some of the discussions in the board room when the geniuses at GM go through the cycle with these disasters. Fiat, PSA and pushing Daewoo junk in Europe. Then deciding it ain’t going to work so it’s time to pull the cord and flush whatever billions have been involved. How much longer can Akerson survive? GM is making some first class products, but Akerson has nothing to do with that. He needs to go before he puts GM back where Rick led it.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I’m guessing they didn’t want to dilute Opel’s Euro heritage by using it to sell cars there? Why not use Vauxhall? They’ve been doing Chevy-Vauxhalls for a while now anyway. I don’t get the overlap of brands.

    Chevy/Opel/Vauxhall/Daewoo. You only need two of those in Europe. The two in the middle.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Vauxhall is a UK brand.

      Opel is for markets outside the UK.

      Chevrolet replaced Daewoo. The Daewoo brand is gone.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        So they’re left badging the cheap Chevrolets as Opel. That’s not a good solution.

        • 0 avatar
          JJ_2

          No you got this a bit mixed up. Vauxhall rebadges Opels for the UK market, the Opel line-up is the exact same as the Vauxhall line up with the exception of for instance some projects like the Vauxhall Monaro which is the Holden Commodore aka Pontiac G8 aka Chevrolet SS…they imported some of those and sold it under the Vauxhall brand in the UK only (probably cause of the RHD). Other than that even the model names are usually the same with a few exceptions (for instance the Opel Omega aka Caddilac Catera was sold as Vauxhall Carlton in the UK). So there’s complete overlap between these two, but they’re exclusively sold in different markets.

          Daewoo completely vanished from the European market as a brand several years ago and many of their models were then rebadged as Chevrolets. Most of the Chevy line-up here consists of Korean build would be Daewoos except for the Camaro and the Corvette (the latter by the way is not sold under the Chevrolet brand but as a seperate brand altogether). We don’t get any of the US build/designed CUVs or SUVs, at least not through official channels.

          There are no Chevrolets which are directly rebadged as Opels or vice versa, although the Chevy Cruze does share a version of its platform with the Opel/Vauxhall Astra. Some engines and tech are also shared…though I would say less so than at VW/SEAT/Skoda/Audi.

          Chevrolet is regarded as a budget brand (picked up from Daewoo and hasn’t been able to shake those roots in the few years they’ve now been on the market, which was unrealistic if that was ever the expectation anyway). Opel is regarded to be maybe just a little bit on the budget side of the ‘normal’ brands though productwise I personally see not much real difference between a current Passat/Mondeo(Fusion) and an Insignia(Buick Regal) or even a base FWD Audi A4 and an Insignia for that matter…They struggle a bit with the good old ‘perception gap’, however, it’s brand perception is way better than Chevy (and rightly so with the line up of mainly cheaptastic penalty boxes that are on offer from them).

          It’s still a bit of a mess…Obviously the result of GM wanting to have a global brand (which is understandable) but trying to execute that next to the old strategy of brand differentation in various regional markets and obviously the two conflict.

          Either have a global brand with a product line up that can compete all over the world, maybe with different engine opties or something (let’s face it, Daevrolets won’t cut it if that’s what you intend to do) or own different brands all over the world that specialize in their regional markets and invest in them to excell.

          Guess they’ve now chosen the latter (well…we’ll see about the invest part) which is at least better than what they were doing right now but only after wasting a few billion in the process first.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      As mentioned, Vauxhalls are sold in the UK, but what’s funny is that right hand drive Opels (the same other than the name and speedometer units) are sold in Ireland.

      Is the Cruze going to be dropped or re-badged?

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    They are desperately trying to exercise the ghosts of Joel Ewanick and the hapless Susan Docherty.

    Seriously, this was always a dumb and confusing thing. If GM was really serious about shutting down Opel/Vauxhall, they’d have done it already.

    So will Opel/Vauxhall now be the Manchester/United auto sponsor, or will GM walk away from that deal too?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “If GM was really serious about shutting down Opel/Vauxhall, they’d have done it already.”

      GM probably was pretty serious about shutting it down, until the South Korean union raised the specter of turning South Korea into a high cost labor market.

      South Korean unions have always been strike prone. Combine that aggressiveness with higher wages, and South Korea becomes a lot less attractive.

      The opportunity to expand Chinese production makes it even less attractive. The difficulties that Chevrolet has had in gaining traction in Europe seals the deal, and the reversal in policy that goes with it.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Problem with Chinese production is politics. If the US makes a wrong move as regards the Chinese increasingly militaristic position then the Chinese will retaliate economically . They have many ways to do that.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Who’s on first?

  • avatar
    ash78

    So you can’t slap some canned Kimchee on a piece of Wonderbread and sell it to the panini crowd. Lesson learned.

    PS: I’m still irritated by Jay Kay’s comment that the Lacetti was a “piece of American crap” on Top Gear during his record-setting lap. When Americans make crap, we go all out and you’ll know it.

    • 0 avatar
      nguyenvuminh

      Haha, that’s a great post ash78 referencing kimchee on wonderbread to be sold to panini crowd. For GM to think that a Korean car can compete against Europe’s historically strong small economical cars was harbinger of disaster. I am so sick and tired of these marketing guru wasting so much money on “branding”. The fact is the product builds the brand, not the other way around. There are some short term success but in the long run, it’s the product that sticks. Chevrolet is a brand that should stay in US and Canada, and that’s it.

  • avatar
    motormouth

    I think this is a fine plan – and how often does anyone say that about GM?

    Even if only a small percentage of the sales that would have gone to Chevy end up with Opel/Vauxhall, I think that it will create pull on the system and utilization at regional plants will increase as a result. And they could really use the business.

    As for bargain basement cars in Europe, like this rebadged Koreans, I don’t believe there really is a real market for them anymore. Even if people want them, there are not enough sales to off-set the piss poor margins. Europe is on its way to becoming a region of sub-premium and premium cars, not because everyone’s loaded with cash, but operating expenses make those vehicles the only kind that can turn a profit in such high-cost environments.

    (As for GM pissing money up the wall on a regular basis, Fiat, PSA (and in the US, Toyota, BTW), I think it’s fairer to say nothing ventured, nothing gained.)

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I mean, really, the only way Chevrolet would have survived in Europe is if it could be in the same league as Dacia–a cheap, no-nonsense brand that’s appropriate for the times–and if Opel’s reputation were better than it is. Speaking of which, is Vauxhall doing as badly as Opel is?

    • 0 avatar
      motormouth

      Dacia is doing well in emerging countries outside Europe – where they’re sold as Renault models, not Dacia. In Europe they’re viewed with quite some snobbery, but that said, I’ve had a go in a couple and they’re not that great to drive. But they wouldn’t be, being based on a (reworked) second-gen Clio chassis.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Huh. I was completely off. I guess I should be using your screen-name since I’m really the “motormouth”, running my mouth about stuff I don’t even know…lol…

        So it looks like Chevy really *was* doomed from the start. I know GM’s goal was to push Opel upmarket, but I wonder how much of that wasted Chevrolet money couldn’t have just been spent directly on Opel.

        • 0 avatar

          Not really Kyree. as Sjalabais says below, Dacia is on sale, and gaining market share, in, among other places, the UK, Germany, France. They offer room at a price attainable to people who would’ve have otherwise only have money to buy a Ka. And the drive, though maybe not up to German car lover standards, is quite acceptable. Chevrolet would have had a chance in Europe. But Europe is a consolidated market that is not growing. VW in particular has been very aggressive with pricing, trying to crowd out other makers (echoes of Camry in US, but I digress). Dacia is still not a major player and may well never be, but there is room in Europe for a no no nonsense back to basics “honest” car. What GM lacked was not product (the Daewoos are Sonics in the US, they don’t set the world on fire, but are quite acceptable), they lacked focus, commitment etc. The “image thing” can be overcome. How long did the Japanese invasion take? When they first reached America little Civics and Corollas were hardly considered paragons of reliability, durability or desireability. But like Dacia is now, and Chevrolet should have striven to become, those little Japanese cars hammered away first a niche, than outright market dominance by offering simple mechanics and solid pricing. There will always be space, in any market, for that kind of car, in spite of what badge snobs say.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Very well-written. I’m a strong GM fan, but I know that GM can be shortsighted and that GM is often tempted to stretch the tentacles of its several brands into too many market segments at once, with no real focus on any of them.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Chevrolet was associated with Big Fin US cars of the 1950′s. Daewooes had no relevance whatsoever.

      • 0 avatar
        Sjalabais

        They sell well in Germany, Europe’s biggest car market. It’s a good offer, better than the Chinese.

  • avatar
    betweentheaxles.com.au

    Must’ve been one hell of a board meeting when they decided this. No doubt they were also discussing the fate of the Australian patient.

    Smart move. Even smarter to announce it on Mustang day.

    “Hey look over there everyone! It’s a new Mustang!”

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      “Hey look over there everyone! It’s a new Mustang!”

      Sounds about right. It’s the same as how I used to tell my parents bad news while were out celebrating instead of doing it while we were sitting around at home.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Not many people are that fond of “pony cars” in Australia, but to combine it with the Holden news, turns fans into Haters of both products.
      Ford and GM are going to have a very rough time in this part of the world.

  • avatar
    Garak

    Horrid resale values combined with low quality – not exactly a winning combination. The same thing drove Chrysler off the market, I think.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    There’s so much stupid in here:

    1) After the Daewoo name was well-established as a bottom feeder brand in the 90s and early 2000s – think Matiz – they were rebranded as “Chevrolet”. Nobody EVER understood that move.

    2) Cheapskates like Lopez broke Opels back in the 90s. Opel doesn’t compete with VW anymore. They compete with the Koreans now, just a notch above Dacia.

    3) The current Chevy lineup in e.g. Germany consists of Daewoos, Opels (Ampera/Volt) and clearly Opel-like cars. Cheap and plasticky, GM competing with GM and better cars from Korea. Who are their customers, did they even do work on that? Focus groups anyone?

    4) Like a stupid child unable to learn not to burn its fingers on the stove, GM simultanously announces to bet on Cadillac. Who is going to buy a Cadillac in Europe? Now, in the midst of a freak recession, with GM’s brand game causing nothing but flat pan claps?

    This list can go on, and there’s room for variation and interpretation. GM balances between stupid and deathwish here…

  • avatar

    another failure that was influenced by the Disaster that was Docherty. she’s gone but the bankster Gerksky remains, same difference really.

    • 0 avatar
      50merc

      GM — where the Peter Principle is alive and well!

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      While I totally agree that Docherty was an empty suit, picking on her over this is a bit unfair. You know as well as I that the bad juju known as GM Europe had been infected with stupidity long before either Docherty or Girsky were dispatched there.

      I’m not defending her — she proved her density on many occasions — but Docherty only presided over an already-lousy situation as her final tour of duty. And Manchester United wasn’t her idea.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    Very stupid decision by GM to introduce the Chevrolet brand into Europe caused a lot of confusion and damaged Opel and Vauxhall.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Evidently, the car business is just tough in Europe. How does Ford do it?

    • 0 avatar

      By losing $1 billion

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        GM is also apparently parting with a billion to shutter the Chevrolet brand in Europe. Which is stronger there Opel/Vauxhall or Ford?

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          But that $1 billion to close Chevy is a one off cost. Much like if they spent $1B to close Bochum to help reduce annual losses. Spending some cash one a one off is a good idea if it reduces annual losses which mount up over the years.

          • 0 avatar
            Sjalabais

            I’d expect much more money being wasted by GM if you include messing with and shuffling brand names meaninglessly, and introducing Chevrolet in the first place. Than there’s the opportunity cost of not focusing on Opel when they should. On top of that, closing shop also stops all future income on that lane, as well as losses. And who has the good product now? If you compare Opel and Ford, I’d dare say Ford looks much stronger.

            But…what do we know. I’d love to read some board insight explaining all these adventures in the name of stupidity.

        • 0 avatar

          Per Automotive News

          Vauxhall/Opel had roughly 834k registrations in Europe in 2012
          Ford had 939k in the same period

          Debate over what “brand” is stronger, but the numbers tell one story

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Interesting. So Ford is somehow doing something “better” in Europe vs GM.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “Interesting. So Ford is somehow doing something “better” in Europe vs GM.”

            One is not dying as quickly in Europe.Both are not thriving or in the end run going to survive.

          • 0 avatar
            henkdevries

            From Acea I found for 2012 Western Europe
            Ford 1,117,151
            Opel 913,111

            Edit: it depends on how you define Europe.

            http://www.acea.be/news/news_detail/new_vehicle_registrations_by_manufacturer/

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Henkdevries
            “From Acea I found for 2012
            Ford 1,117,151
            Opel 913,111

            http://www.acea.be/news/news_detail/new_vehicle_registrations_by_manufacturer/”

            Opel is supposed to floundering. Both have major problems. Chevrolet sold 8000, it is very very dead.

  • avatar

    Find New Roads… just not on the Continent. Chevy just became uncool.

    Buickman

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Buickman, I heard on Bloomberg today that GM is withdrawing the Chevrolet brand from Europe to give Opel and Vauxhall some relief from corporate competition.

      As long as GM makes money on the continent, it doesn’t matter to me if they sell the Chevrolet brand there.

      The question now becomes, “Since GM didn’t sell enough Opels and Vauxhalls in Europe in the past to be profitable, will taking the Chevrolet brand off the market in Europe draw more people in to buy Opel and Vauxhall?”

      Time will tell. For the record, I’m not optimistic.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Finally, a brilliant move from GM. Go to google uk, and look for Chevrolet brand awareness. Most of the entries are pontifications from the US about huge brand awareness – they must have been under consultancy contracts to GM, and decided to lick the boots of the sophisticated world travellers filling the high executive postions at GM World headquarters.

    This is a quote from Ralph, a UK motoring writer, though:

    ” The biggest disappointment is Chevrolet brand awareness in the UK. Maybe it’s because they’re sold alongside the top-selling Vauxhall and the salespeople take the easy way. It’s a joke when punters walk into a Chevrolet showroom with the name plastered everywhere and they enquire about a Chrysler 300 Touring. But it’s not funny considering Chevrolet has probably been the most successful brand in motoring history.

    GM once was the biggest, most successful and profitable business in history and its #1 brand is Chevrolet. Chevrolet recently stood alone as the third most successful car brand. Historically it’s been #1. But car buyers in the UK know little about it.”

    Honda, Nissan and Toyota don’t sell many cars in the EU, because they’re regarded as totally boring drives. Hyundai/Kia have been doing quite well. Daewoo was regarded as a joke just about everywhere globally, so anyone who actually noticed when Daewoo became Chevrolet just laughed their heads off. The disconnect between reality and the ideas percolating through the brains of senior GM management is amazing to see.

    It’s like all the chest-thumping about Cadillac being competitive with the German luxo makes. In the US maybe. Nowhere else. Cadillac has what, four models? ATS, CTS, SRX and XTS plus some blinged out Chev truck. Not a diesel in sight. How many models does Mercedes have? About 20.

    Not a hope in the global market. 99% of the callow boasting is for domestic consumption to try and make Americans think that Cadillac is well-regarded around the world, even if that idea is a complete stretch of the facts. Say Cadillac in the UK and all anyone thinks of is Elvis and his ’59. Say Chevrolet in the UK and people’s minds go blank, so GM might just as well pull out of the market, because it’s been an utter waste of time and money.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      You have won the completely unofficial, “TTAC Comment Of The Week” award.

      Please take this time to give yourself a firm pat on the back and enjoy an extra swig of whatever it is you slosh down these days.

      Oh, and thanks for the pointed prose. It was a pleasure to read.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Maybe now we will stop getting crap products meant to appeal to Europeans.
    Obviously GM is going to be selling crap in Europe, that’s what people buy in Europe, why even waste time bringing stuff that’s half decent when crap sells?

    Although what happens to corvettes and camaros?

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      Weren’t all Saturn products based on Euro platforms? I saw an Aura for the first time in a while today and it’s still a rather nice looking midsize sedan, but I’m fairly sure it was an Opel (maybe the one Buick uses for the Regal) with some new sheetmetal.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Well, so much for

    See the Alps today in your Chevrolet
    The Austrians are waiting for your cash.

  • avatar

    the Mokka is built by former Daewoo, right? So some opel cars are actually EU-Chevy’s….Add a few popular ones (spark & captiva) to the opel brand and all is well. Oh wait, captiva is already there.


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