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Chevrolet Won’t Be Leaving Europe Entirely

Corvette and possibly other models to remain in market.

by on Dec.06, 2013

Still Europe-bound, the C7 Corvette.

Chevrolet plans to maintain at least a small presence in Europe, despite this week’s announcement that it will pull out in the wake of a poor reception for a brand traditionally seen as classically American.

The Corvette, in particular, will continue to be sold on the Continent even after the Chevrolet distribution network is shut down, TheDetroitBureau.com was advised.

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“Vette and some other iconic Chevrolets (to be named later) will still be sold thru Opel or Cadillac dealers. They will be marketed as Chevrolets,” explained Mike Albano, Chevy’s chief spokesman in the U.S., explained by e-mail.

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GM Pulling Chevrolet from Europe in 2016

Plan gives Opel one less competitor in market.

by on Dec.05, 2013

GM is pulling its Chevy brand from Europe, hoping to bolster sales for its Opel and Vauxhall brands.

General Motors is yanking its Chevrolet brand from most of Europe by 2016 hoping it will bolster sales for its Opel and Vauxhall brands. Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States will still sell Chevy vehicles.

Chevy’s departure from Europe came in a surprise overnight news release. The brand has long been the dominant one for GM in its home North American market, but has had a less significant role abroad.

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In recent years, as German-based Opel had begun to fade, GM began looking to Chevrolet as a potential alternative. In fact, some analysts suggested GM might eventually abandon Opel entirely.  (more…)

Chevrolet Makes Trax in Paris

US left on the sidelines.

by on Oct.01, 2012

Chevrolet is looking to the new Trax compact crossover to continue building momentum in Europe.

The most American of General Motors’ many worldwide brands, Chevrolet has been making rapid gains around the globe since GM emerged from bankruptcy – and nowhere is that more apparent than in Europe, where it is one of the very few makers to post both sales and market share gains for the first eight months of 2012.

Considering the near-collapse of the European market, that’s no mean feat – and one that will rely on new products to keep the momentum building.  New products like the Chevrolet Trax making its debut at this year’s Paris Motor Show.

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The Chevrolet Trax is a Korean-made compact crossover based on GM’s Gamma II platform – which is shared with several other models including the new Opel Mokka and the Buick Encore.  A modified version of the platform is also used for the new Chevy Sonic model that’s gotten off to a good start since its U.S. introduction for the 2012 model-year.

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From Watchmaker’s Son to Auto Pioneer, Tracing the Roots of Louis Chevrolet

Honoring a native son.

by on Mar.16, 2012

He tried his hand at making cars but the real passion for Louis Joseph Chevrolet was racing them.

Better late than never for the town of La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Nestled into the snow-covered Alps, it’s not a place the tourists often go, even if it is the third-largest community in the French-speaking cantons of Switzerland.  Yet its reach is surprisingly broad.  A disproportionate share of the town’s residents tick off their days toiling in the watch industry, with eagerly-sought brands like Rolex, Omega, Movado and Girard-Perregaux headquartered here.

But some of La Chaux-de-Fonds’ more legendary citizens had to leave to find their fame, among them Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as architect Le Corbusier, and Louis Joseph Chevrolet.  The latter, the son of a local watchmaker, was born in the Jura Mountains town in 1878 but left by the time he was 20 to pursue a career in racing and automobile manufacturing.

He is, of course, the man who lent his name to the Chevrolet Motor Car Company, which the American emigrant cofounded with Billy Durant – himself the founder of General Motors, who had been forced out of GM and was looking for a way to get back into the auto industry.  Their venture was officially registered on November 3, 1911, triggering the extensive centennial celebrations that ran most of last year.

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And for good reason.  After emerging from bankruptcy two years earlier, GM abandoned a number of brands, including well-known Pontiac, shifting emphasis to the marques still remaining.  Chevrolet is playing a particular important role as the singular focus of GM’s global expansion plans.  The maker set an all-time sales record of more than 5 million vehicles last month – clicking off an additional sale “every six seconds,” as Susan Docherty, president of Chevrolet of Europe is quick to point out.

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Two Thirds of Chevy Sales Now Come From Abroad

The “Heartbeat of China”?

by on Oct.10, 2011

The Chevrolet Volt in China.

The “Heartbeat of America” is rapidly expanding its presence outside the U.S., two-thirds of Chevrolet sales expected to come from markets outside the U.S. this year.

With Chevy the only one of the five major global brands to increase its worldwide market share this year, it would not be a surprise, said a senior General Motors executive, if the bowtie marque were to eventually ring up four out of five of its sales in foreign markets.

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“That’s absolutely possible…though not a target,” said Mark Reuss, GM’s president of North American operations, following a dinner celebrating Chevrolet’s 100th anniversary.

The brand was founded on November 3, 1911 by race car driver Louis Chevrolet and entrepreneur William C. Durant – who was at the time exiled from General Motors, a company he had also created less than a decade earlier.

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Chevy Hits Sales Record – As it Goes Global

The classic “American” car brand increasingly dependent on overseas markets.

by on Apr.18, 2011

The launch of the new Chevy Malibu is a critical step in transforming the marque into a truly global brand.

It’s been a busy year for Chevrolet – General Motor’s largest brand selling an all-time record 1.1 million vehicles during the first quarter of 2011.

But anyone who still thinks of Chevy as the quintessential American brand, once celebrated with ad slogans that told buyers to “See the USA in your Chevrolet,” might be in for a sobering reappraisal.  The brand’s 15% sales gain during the first quarter was largely driven by its increasing presence around the world.

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“It’s not an American brand anymore,” suggests Dave Sullivan, automotive analyst with AutoPacific, Inc.  “GM has realized that the pie in the U.S. – and the piece Chevy could expect – was too small and they’d have to look elsewhere.”

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New Cruze Hatchback Backing Chevy’s European Assault

Mom and apple pie brand increasingly going global.

by on Mar.03, 2011

The Chevrolet Cruze hatchback - two-thirds of European buyers prefer 5-doors.

What’s more American, as the old ad slogan went, than “hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet?”  Well these days, it’s not only the USA you can see in your Chevy.

The maker is giving European motorists a first look at the new Cruze hatchback at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the latest model in an expanding Chevrolet line-up on the Continent.  Europeans actually got the original Cruze sedan a bit ahead of the U.S. because of bankruptcy-related delays.  Now, bets Chevy, it can expand the compact model’s appeal by adding a 5-door.

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Europeans have traditionally been far more open to the utilitarian hatchback than buyers back in the States – in fact, Chevy officials estimate 5-doors, including wagons, accounting for about two-thirds of European sales.

And cracking Europe is critical for the brand, which has become increasingly global.  Until relatively recently, Chevy was limited to the North, Central and South American markets – in many, it is still the overwhelmingly dominant brand.  But it is now spreading its wings around the globe, pitching buyers from Beijing to Berlin.

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