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.
“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.
A study group is now looking at alternatives, he tells TheDetroitBureau.com, declining to say when the new name will ready.
owever, time is running short for the name change. The GM assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan is getting ready to build pre-production vehicles, starting in March 2011, and the first production vehicles for sale to the public will roll off the line in August.
Meanwhile, advertising campaigns designed to build awareness around a vehicle often need to begin anywhere from six to 12 months before a launch, GM executives note.
Making the switch won’t be cheap. Jim Farley, marketing chief for GM’s rival, Ford Motor Co., recently told TheDetroitBureau.com that a branding campaign to launch an all-new nameplate can cost from $50 million to $100 million more than a marketing effort designed around a brand name that’s already established.
On the other hand, the earlier Aveo hadn’t gained particular awareness in the American market, so the new car would’ve needed more of a push anyway, according to industry observers.