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GM to drop Chevrolet as mainstream brand in Europe (copyright image)

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by Stephen Walker

5th December, 2013

General Motors has confirmed that the Chevrolet brand will no longer have a mainstream presence in western and eastern Europe from 2016. The low volume Chevrolet Corvette will continue to maintain a limited presence for Chevy, as the announcement affects only models which are badged "Chevrolet" and those that are sourced from Korea.

Chevrolet, the fourth-largest global car brand, will continue its presence in Russia and the nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States in eastern Europe.

GM has not announced if the next generation of Korean-made models will appear at some point in Europe with Opel and Vauxhall badges.

In the UK, Chevrolet sold 6,764 cars in the first half of 2013 (down from 8,811 in H1 2012).

GM's best seller in the UK is the Vauxhall Corsa which had 46,147 sales in H1 2013. GM's second best selling model in the UK is the Vauxhall Astra which recorded 33,731 sales for the same period. Total Vauxhall sales in the UK for H1 2013 stood at 132,640 units, up from 115,932 units for H1 2012. Note: figures in this paragraph are sourced from SMMT (UK).

Chevy models in the UK include models known in Australia as Spark, Barina, Cruze, Trax, Captiva and a model not sold here - the Orlando, a 7-seater MPV.

No mention was made about Volt and Camaro which are sold in small numbers in the UK, although both Vauxhall and Opel have a version of the Volt.

Ultimately, GM expect the decision to dump Chevrolet as a mainstream brand will mean higher sales volumes for their Opel and Vauxhall brands.

That decision to 'pull the plug' on the Chevrolet brand in Europe is expected to cost General Motors $700 million to $1 billion (USD) in the foreseeable future.

Other than to indicate that GM want to improve sales in Korea, no specific announcement has been made about production volumes in Korea from 2015 when the European markets will commence taking fewer and fewer cars wearing Chevrolet badges.

Sticking with Cadillac

Not surprising, GM executives continue to believe the world cannot get enough of the Cadillac brand and GM has, again, committed the company to having another attempt to be taken seriously in Europe over the coming three years.



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