GM's Keeping That Hot Cavalier Nameplate Alive

gms 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.

  • 285exp I am quite sure that it is a complete coincidence that they have announced a $7k price increase the same week that the current administration has passed legislation extending the $7k tax credit that was set to expire. Yep, not at all related.
  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
  • ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.