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No Plans to Replace Ailing Opel with Chevrolet

Chevy gaining ground in a plunging European market – but profits are another matter.

by on Oct.02, 2012

Chevrolet's European chief Susan Docherty.

Despite growing calls for General Motors to abandon its increasingly troubled Opel brand, there are no plans to replace the German-based subsidiary with Chevrolet – one of the few brands actually gaining sales and market share despite the ongoing collapse of the European automotive market.

Nonetheless, Chevy appears to be the best opportunity GM has for regaining some momentum in Europe, said Susan Docherty, the veteran executive who took over Chevrolet’s European operations last January.

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From a peak of more than 17 million vehicles a year, Docherty said the European market could dip to somewhere between 14.0 million and 14.3 million in 2013, which she termed “very scary numbers.”  Even so, her goal is to continue building the Chevy brand’s sales and market share. Relatively new to the European market, the bow-tie brand sold 206,000 vehicles in Europe last year and is on track for a 5% gain for all of 2012.

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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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Chevy Aiming To Top 1 Million In Europe

An American in Paris?

by on Oct.06, 2010

The Chevrolet Orlando is one of four new models the brand is launching at the Paris Motor Show.

It takes a bit of an effort to find for potential French buyers to find the Orlando crossover, one of four  new models wearing the Chevrolet badge debuting at this year’s Paris Motor Show.  Orlando and the rest are hidden in Hall 5, a good walk from the main pavilion where more mainstream brands, notably including the French domestics, Renault, Peugeot and Citroen, are on display.

Nonetheless, there’s been a steady stream of show-goers making the trek, underscoring Chevy’s surprising performance since it launched as a serious brand in the European market less than a decade ago.

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And it is encouraging the General Motors division to set its sights high.  By mid-decade, say company officials, they hope to more than double volume to over 1 million annually in Europe.

“Paris 2010 is a once-in-a-lifetime show for Chevrolet with four world premieres,” said Wayne Brannon, President and Managing Director of Chevrolet Europe, as the maker quickly rolled out the Orlando, Aveo, Captiva and Cruze hatchback during its brief, 15-minute press preview.

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