Been Dacia'd And Confused For So Long It's Not True…

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

General Motors took the step of killing off Chevrolet in Europe earlier this year, and has long attempted to position Opel and Vauxhall as mainstream but slightly more premium offerings (analogous to how Volkswagen was once marketed in the United States). And that makes news of a new line of budget cars all the more confusing.

Just-Auto reports that Opel and Vauxhall will launch two new budget models to attract customers who may have previously opted for Chevrolet cars. First is the new Viva, based on the next-generation Chevrolet Spark. A small SUV, set to rival the Dacia Duster, is also being considered.

Rather than aiming for a brand that specifically targets no-frills motoring, it appears that GM is aiming to emulate Skoda, which at least has some measure of style and chic appeal, even as it positions itself as a value brand. The new Viva looks to be a pretty stylish car, but the brand positioning appears to be contradictory. How can Opel and Vauxhall aspire to sell pseudo-premium sedans like the Insignia while also pushing a new line of budget cars? Then again, nobody can ever accuse GM of having a consistent or coherent brand strategy in Europe.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Matador Matador on Jul 23, 2014

    Great news! Anyways, GM never has figured out the hold "Brand Image" thing too well...

  • Romismak Romismak on Jul 23, 2014

    GM Europe are joke in last decade in term of brands and their orientation, 1st they introduce in Europe Chevrolet after they bought Daewoo and rebranded cheap Daewoos to Chevrolets-it could have been succesfull i think if they stick to it few years - crisis came in and people started to prefere ,,budget,, brands and smaller ,,cheaper,, cars, but no - GM refused to have Chevrolet as 2nd small brand they confused people with introducing more models and wanted to Chevrolet to be big in Europe - which was never going to happen and tried to move Opel upmarket - which was again just logical in heads of US managers, because they had no idea that Opel was always volume brand for all people with many models, so they failed to move it upmarket, their Chevrolet mix of koreas imports and some US mix failed, now again they want Opel have budget cars.... GM US managers trying to manage Opel in Europe it´s one of worst things in automotive world in term of how to screw things... no wonder GM europe is not proffitbale, they can´t export Opels outside of Europe Chevrolet should have stayed in Europe as GM´s budget option and Opel as main volume brand - german brand - direct competition to VW as mainstraem german brand - except UK - but that´s specific market Vauhhall is doing fine there. Chevrolet should have been producet in Europe - in Poland - which has lower wages than DE - so polish GM plant producing let´s say 2-3 popular small Chevy car´s woul dbe profitable i mean Polish plant would be profitable- Chevrolet could have been as succesfull as Kia and Hyundai - Korean brand, build something in Poland, import from Korea - who cares it´s US brand only GM managers, it could have been succesfull as korean brand in Europe - which people viewed as korean anyway

  • LambourneNL LambourneNL on Jul 24, 2014

    Positioning Chevrolet below Opel never made any sense, the other way around might have worked better. The brand was associated with "American" cars, which (In Europe) translates to big, gas guzzling land yachts that are anything but "budget". Daewoo actually was getting a bit of a reputation for cheap but decent transportation. After killing off the (rwd) Senator and Omega, Opel also lacks a higher end car that can compete with the A6/5-series on price. It's a thoroughly generic brand these days.

  • Insalted42 Insalted42 on Jul 24, 2014

    "Just-Auto reports that Opel and Vauxhall will launch two new budget models to attract customers who may have previously opted for Chevrolet cars." I've lived in two European countries (Germany and France) over the last few years and I could probably count the number of Chevrolets I've seen here in that time on my fingers. Even in countries like Switzerland and the Netherlands, whose lack of a national auto industry makes them more accepting of non-euro offerings, Chevy's are few and far between. I understand the rational of offering new super-minis, but saying its to target would-be chevy buyers in Europe makes no sense to me.