Chevrolet is planning a major expansion of its model range over the next three years, which will end-up doubling the brand’s sales in Europe by 2015/16.
This week Chevy is launching the new Spark city-car, the replacement for the Matiz, but coming next year are a new Orlando seven-seat MPV, followed by a new Aveo supermini, Cruze hatch and Volt hybrid in 2011 and a Cruze estate in 2012.
“We think around 13 to 15 models in the range is about right and today we’ve got around eight,” said Chevy Europe president Wayne Brannon.
The Cruze hatch will move Chevy into the heart of the key family hatch segment dominated by big names like the Golf and Focus.
But an even more significant model is the 2011 supermini, which will be based on GM’s global Gamma 2 architecture, developed in Korea and also the basis for Vauxhall’s new Meriva and next-gen Corsa.
Chevy will share the Volt technology with Opel and Vauxhall in 2011/12, says Brannon, and together the three nameplates will shift around 10,000 Volts in the first year.
The Cruze estate is designed, but has yet to get the green light for production. Sources indicate that the sell-off of Opel and Vauxhall had put a block on the model, because of cross-brand competition in the lucrative fleet market.
But now that that the sale is off, the Cruze estate is back on the agenda, although Brannon won’t comment.
When Chevy Europe’s product line-up is fleshed out by 2012 and the new model line-up is fully established in the market, Chevy’s range coverage will reach around 60 per cent of the European market. When Chevy replaced the Daewoo brand in 2005, is was close to 30 per cent and currently is around “the high 40’s per cent”, according to Brannon.
By extending the range and its coverage of the market, Brannon reckons that sales will reach nearly one million units a year by 2015/16.
“I’m bullish on us doubling our business in the five years following the end of the economic crisis,” he says.