Chevy Has Small Plans For Germany
Allegedly, GM wants to replace Opel and Vauxhall with Chevrolet in Europe, and turn the bow tie into a true global brand. Apparently, it wants to do this with a severely pruned-down dealer network. Chevy dealers in Germany watch every courier coming through the door with trepidation: Every fifth Chevy dealer in Germany will be handed a letter that tells him that his contract is being terminated, says Germany’s kfz-Betrieb.
As reason, insufficient sales are given. Uwe Heyman, a lawyer who manages the council of Opel and Chevrolet dealers in Germany, thinks the reason is likewise insufficient:
“In the cancellation, Chevrolet states vaguely and without naming numbers that it is not satisfied with the performance of the dealer.“
The dealers had not received a prior warning. Several fired dealers have a market share that is well above average.
January through November, Chevrolet sold 27,095 units in Germany, for a market share of 0.9 percent. That is better than in the prior year. However, says the kfz-Btrieb, the numbers are fudged: Many cars were registered by the dealers themselves for a day, turning them into used cars which then are sold at huge discounts. In November, the market share dropped to 0.7 percent.
Worth watching: How many Opel dealers will get new Chevy contracts that are lost by funky former Dawoo-dealers. What is happening here could be a Chevy retrenchment, or, if larger dealer replace smaller ones, a full frontal attack.
I would research it further to see whether existing dealers that currently carry only Opel are being offered Chevrolet agencies. That would be a hint that the plan may be to either shrink or phase out Opel entirely.
typical GM, close and cut, walk away from brand equity and heritage while trying to build something new and different without any idea of what to do. if I didn't know these people first hand I would swear they are doing it on purpose as did their predecessor Red Ink Rick. really want to screw up your sales? send in Driving Miss Docherty.
My magic 8-ball says that GM's long-term goal is to become a Chinese carmaker, keeping only a few token plants in North America and Europe, and selling only Chevy, Buick, and Cadillac brands. Signs point to Yes.
From a European perspective, that sounds like a good idea. Chevrolet is still associated with big gas slurping extravagant cars over here, yet cruze shows something seriously smart and well made. More and more Cruzes are on the European roads. Opel has a terrible reputation, however it seems the insignia is well made. I believe the global car plans are good for us in the long run. And oh yeah, I'm a Chevy fan trapped in Europe where econoboxes are considered the way to go and everything beyond 2 liters is considered anti social. I have to admit having an MB and a Volvo, though.