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Chevrolet Goes Sonic

Maker tips hand on Aveo replacement.

by on Dec.09, 2010

Wearing the Aveo badge, Chevrolet's new small car makes its debut at the Paris Motor Show.

Chevrolet has to hope the market will go hyper-sonic when it launches its next-generation small car, next year.  Make that Sonic, the name the General Motors brand has chosen to replace the outgoing Chevy Aveo.

Company officials, all the way up to GM President Mark Reuss, have made it clear they weren’t happy with the Aveo name itself, something that even corporate officials had a hard time correctly pronouncing.

“It’s pretty bad when everybody in your own company pronounces the name of the car a different way,” said Reuss.

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Now, add the fact that Chevrolet wants buyers to view its new, 2012 model in a completely different light – as a stylish, fun-to-drive alternative, rather than a basic econo-box – and there’s good reason to switch.

But while the automaker has officially remained mum on the replacement, the GM Inside News blog let word leak that Chevrolet Sonic will be the nameplate that begins to roll off the maker’s assembly line in Orion Township, Michigan, starting next August.

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What’s In A Name – Apparently The Wrong Stuff For Aveo

by on Oct.08, 2010

The new Chevrolet Aveo gets a once-over from a journalist at the Paris Motor Show.

The world got a good look at the all-new Chevrolet Aveo during the Paris Motor Show, this week, but while the sheet metal is bound for U.S. showrooms, the name may stay in Europe, a senior General Motors official tells TheDetroitBureau.com.

It’s not that Aveo name carries negative baggage, says Mark Reuss, President of GM’s North American core operations.

“It’s just that there are a lot of other names out there,” explains Reuss, who doesn’t exactly hide his distaste for the Aveo name.

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“It’s pretty bad when everybody in your own company pronounces the name of the car a different way,” he contends.

Reuss adds that he has been an advocate of dumping the Aveo name ever since he became the head of GM’s North American Operations in December of 2009.

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Sneak Peek: 2012 Chevrolet Aveo

Official debut set for upcoming Paris Motor Show.

by on Sep.08, 2010

The "hot hatch" remake of the Chevrolet Aveo.

Chevrolet is pulling the wraps off of one of the four new models it will launch, later this month, at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

First revealed in show car form, earlier this year, the production version of the 5-door version of the Chevy Aveo will make its debut in the City of Lights and then reach U.S. showrooms next year as a 2012 model.

Part of a wave of new “hot hatch” models, Chevy is betting the Aveo can overcome the long-standing aversion Americans have for 3- and 5-door models.  But the new Aveo will also be offered in a more familiar sedan package, as well.

The next-generation Aveo is distinguished by exposed twin headlamps, the distinctive Chevy dual port grille and a rising beltline that gives the new hatchback a sense of kinetic motion.

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Aimed at today’s more demanding young buyers, Chevrolet promises a more refined interior than was offered in past econoboxes, including a wraparound fascia on the instrument panel, with blue backlighting on the center console and an unusual, motorcycle-inspired gauge cluster.

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Can Chevy Build the Momentum?

Sneak peek at major fleet remake due over next two years.

by on Dec.17, 2009

The Chevrolet Orlando, shown here in concept form, is deceptive. Despite its small footprint it will offer three-row seating for up to seven.

The Chevrolet Orlando, shown here in concept form, is deceptive. Despite its small footprint it will offer three-row seating for up to seven.

At first glance, the challenge seems daunting.  Going into bankruptcy court, earlier this year, General Motors ran eight unique North American brands.  Today it has just four, yet it’s hoping to maintain most of its sales and market share and even build momentum in the coming years.

To accomplish that feat, the long-troubled automaker is counting on its Chevrolet brand to do the heavy lifting.  “Chevy will account for over 70% of GM sales” in North America, said the marque’s new general manager, Jim Campbell.”

Pulling that off won’t be easy.  As senior company officials, all the way up to Acting CEO Ed Whitacre admit, there’s a sizable share of U.S. buyers who are not just indifferent but in many cases downright hostile to General Motors.

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“I’m worried about what people think of us and how to get them to trust us,” acknowledged Mark Reuss, the newly-appointed president of GM’s North American operations.

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