Chevrolet's withdrawal from Europe was prompted by the need to expand elsewhere, and to avoid undermining Vauxhall-Opel sales, says global brand boss
Jim Holder
16 January 2014

Chevrolet Europe is being axed because parent company GM saw better opportunities to invest elsewhere, and because the company was undermining Vauxhall-Opel’s sales, according to Chevrolet’s global boss Alan Batey.

The decision to withdraw Chevrolet from Europe, announced at the end of last year, was made after the firm recorded around 200,000 sales in the region, taking a market share of less than one per cent. In contrast, Vauxhall-Opel took a market share of around six per cent.

“You have to put the decision in the context of Chevrolet and GM as a whole,” said Batey. “It is a massive company with pressures on it to invest in many different areas. Chevrolet sells five million cars globally, and we see significant opportunities to grow the brand rapidly and significantly in Asia, for instance. So it came down to a question of deciding where to place the investment we had.”

Batey also conceded that GM failed to sufficiently differentiate Chevrolet and Vauxhall-Opel products. “The problem was that the products were based on the same platforms and were too similar,” he said. “They cost the same to produce, so it wasn’t possible to present one as a budget version of the other, and the brands weren’t sufficiently opposed for one to be seen as more upmarket.”

Vauxhall-Opel boss Karl-Thomas Neumann added: “We decided Vauxhall-Opel was the stronger brand, and that for it to thrive we needed to avoid disturbing that,” he said. “It was unfortunate that we had the approach of sharing dealers – it was confusing for customers to see similar products without differentiation in the same place. There was an issue of differentiation.”

New GM boss Mary Barra stressed her support for Vauxhall-Opel: "Opel and Vauxhall are very important to us. We have made the decision to invest in them and grow them. They are managed well and we consider them as one brand - Vauxhall is a key part of the story. We believe the decisions we made at the end of last year [Chevrolet's axing] will help both."

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17

16 January 2014
Too many brands spoil the market share

16 January 2014
Why can VW Group differentiate between VW, Skoda, Audi and Seat, and PSA Group between Peugeot and Citroen, Hyundai Group between Kia and Hyundai, Fiat Group between Alfa, Lancia and Fiat, but GM couldn't do the same with Opel/Vauxhall and Chevrolet?

16 January 2014
He didn't say they couldn't; he said that they hadn't.

16 January 2014
Straff wrote:

He didn't say they couldn't; he said that they hadn't...

Quote:

....Batey also conceded that GM failed to sufficiently differentiate Chevrolet and Vauxhall-Opel products....

rxl

16 January 2014
Overdrive wrote:

Why can VW Group differentiate between VW, Skoda, Audi and Seat, and PSA Group between Peugeot and Citroen, Hyundai Group between Kia and Hyundai, Fiat Group between Alfa, Lancia and Fiat, but GM couldn't do the same with Opel/Vauxhall and Chevrolet?

VW wasn't that successful as it may look. Audi is the premium brand, but the Golf is equally well produced and many costumer who doesn't care about status buy the Golf instead the A3 cause its better value for money. the same with the Passat ... the Seat have been shredded by Skoda because its good value and good Design. Seat appeal of sport brand never have been totally achieved partially because their bads decision: make the Toledo as as MPV, MPV Alhandra, the Ibiza too bland...even Skoda have better sport looking cars... and Skoda rallying contribute a lot. whys does not VW invested in Seat as a rally brand? if they were the supposed sporting brand? the result of all this was Skoda becoming more well made, better looking and more popular. and Seat sales decline.

so what we see in past years, was the solid VW image stay on top, cannibalizing some of the Audi cheaper models, Skoda more attractive and popular cannibalizing Seat sales. If a group of brand to become all well sell-able they have must have each brand into different market shares. VW today have the Audi,Golf, Leon for the same space. and you can buy a Leon by 5000 or more quid cheaper than the Audi with the same engine. Polo, Fabia, Ibiza are the next victims...all too close in options and technology...

The solution was to make one of then become a low cost brand. i will not be surprised to see Seat to be the sacrificed. Spain times are bad , so the low cost maybe rise sales in the biggest Seat market.

16 January 2014
"Spain times are bad , so the low cost maybe rise sales in the biggest Seat market."

SEAT's biggest sales market is Germany, not Spain ;o)

16 January 2014
Overdrive wrote:

Why ..., but GM couldn't do the same with Opel/Vauxhall and Chevrolet?

Looking at US forums, they seem to think over there that Opel/Vauxhall is in the premium sector so why can't Chevrolet sell into the mainstream sector - they think this because some Opel/Vauxhalls are rebadged as Buicks and sold in North America in the premium sector - and don't understand why we see ex-Daewoos as budget even when they have a Chevrolet badge.

If GM Detroit thinks the same way then it's no surprise they got it wrong.

I'd like to see Opel/Vauxhall get the same support and freedom from GM Detroit that Tata give to JLR.

16 January 2014
Based on this logic it would make sense to fill Opel/Vauxhall gaps in the future with Chevrolet models, notably the Spark rather than the Suzuki Splash

16 January 2014
Chevy couldn't cut the mustard in Europe.


16 January 2014
Chevrolet undermining Vauxhall/Opel sales? Really.

Well I can't speak for mainland Europe but as far as the UK is concerned I doubt any Vauxhall sales staff lost sleep over their local Chevy dealership.

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