GM's Keeping That Hot Cavalier Nameplate Alive

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
gm s keeping that hot cavalier nameplate alive

Ask this writer how he feels about the oft-derided Chevrolet Cavalier, and he’ll tell you it was only worth owning when offered with GM’s 60-degree V6 family (a second-gen coupe with a 3.1-liter is essentially the model’s zenith), though the 2002MY decision to plunk the decently powerful, low-maintenance 2.2-liter Ecotec beneath the hood wasn’t a bad one.

Besides those attributes, as well as, um, excellent secondhand affordability, there’s little praise that can be mustered for the model that bowed out of the Chevy lineup in 2005. Still, General Motors continues to see value in the Cavalier name. The model is still sold in China and Mexico, where it looks much like a smaller Cruze. And, in the U.S., GM just filed a trademark application for the nameplate.

Two trademarks, actually — “Cavalier,” and “Chevrolet Cavalier.” The filings were uncovered by The Drive, which mulls that GM could one day revive the nameplate.

It’s a long shot, to be sure. While the automaker doesn’t see much use in building its own small cars in the States (the Cruze is dead and the Sonic’s days are numbered), Chinese-built vehicles have to contend with a new 25-percent import tariff, and the current-gen Cavalier indeed hails from that faraway land.

As well, GM’s efforts to keep the Cavalier name alive are not relegated just to the two March 27th trademark filings. On September 9, 2015, the automaker filed identical applications for the Cavalier and Chevrolet Cavalier trademarks. While federal trademarks last 10 years, they actually have to be used to stay active. Companies that intend to use the trademark must file a Statement of Use (SOU) to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to show that intent, and to gain approval for the mark. Companies that aren’t ready to use the trademark can request a time extension for filing an SOU.

Extensions can be filed every six months for a period of up to three years, and GM, after having its application abandoned in October of 2016 for failing to file an SOU, has done just that. The application was revived the following month, kicking off a series of SOU extensions staggered in six-month intervals. The last extension approval was granted on February 7th. Essentially, GM’s running out of time and needs to file another trademark application to keep its grip on the Cavalier name.

Of course, during this time, it could file an SOU and begin using the name on a vehicle sold in the U.S., but GM’s trademark history points to this being a simple legal exercise to keep the Cavalier name in the company fold.

Sorry, Cavalier fans.

[Image: © 2017 Murilee Martin/TTAC]

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  • Flipper35 Flipper35 on Apr 04, 2019

    We had a 1998 that was purchased from Enterprise with 25k miles on it. We sold it when we moved and it had 135k miles on it with only consumables and an alternator. As of a year ago it was still tooling around in SoCal. The seats in that car were very comfortable and the heat/AC worked very well in that car. I have no complaints on that car and it owed us nothing.

  • Newenthusiast Newenthusiast on Apr 04, 2019

    1) I couldn't log in at all yesterday to comment on this, which is why it is late. It took me 7 tries today. What's up with that? 2) I had a 1998 2 door with the 5 speed manual (so, around 120hp?), and as others have stated, despite its reputation, it served me well for 181,000 miles and 9 years (2001-2010), including its first two years of life in the harsh winters of Erie, PA. With winter tires, it was able to navigate most typical snowfall conditions (up to about 8-9 inches of snow....27 inch lake effect squalls?? yeah, not so much.) As long as there was no ice, and the roads were at least marginally plowed, it punched above its class in winter conditions, IMO. I had to replace the A/C compressor at one point in California, but that was the only non-maintenance issue it had. It accelerated and drove well enough, got really good mpg. There are still some 3rd gens (I actually saw a remarkably well kept 2nd gen z24 last month) around...providing reliable cheap transport for many. Flawed? Yes. But not without its merits.

  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs
  • Sid SB Not seen a Core without the performance pack yet. Prefer the more understated look of the Core vs the Circuit, but both are great fun to drive.
  • El scotto Tesla has one team making EV's because that is all Tesla does. Farley -rolls eyes- decided to split Ford into two huge warring factions: ICE vs EV. Hey Jimbo, it says "FORD" on the buildings.Lord only knows what GM did internally because it's GM. I'm betting it's like Ford pitting ICE vs EVs. With GM being GM every existing division will be divided.Stellantis will keep building Challengers and Rams. Someday they may figure out that Jeep is the fugu fish of the automotive sushi world and unload to some Chinese. EV's? no, not really.If this site was The Truth About HVAC (TTAH) some on here would tell us that central heating and air causes unknown illnesses, will be bad, and cause a degradation of our nation's moral fiber. By golly they shoveled coal and carry ash buckets and that shouldn't change.
  • El scotto -channeling my inner Kenneth Mars- It is a coupe because Merzedes say's it est une kupe! Quiet schweinhunds! Dis is zee best kupe in zee vorld! Merzedes says so! Zee best or nothing Mein Herrs!