Budget brand set to become GM's focus after selling Vauxhall and Opel
17 September 2009

Chevrolet is set to become General Motors’ lead brand in western Europe in the wake of the Vauxhall/Opel sell-off.

The Korean-based value brand is set for serious expansion as GM turns its attentions from loss-making Vauxhall/Opel. With the loss of those marques, GM is committed to building its global brand in the highly competitive western European market.

Chevrolet, which is the largest-volume GM brand by some margin, sold more than 507,000 cars in Europe and Russia in 2008, despite the credit crunch, a figure up 11 per cent on 2007 and good enough for a 2.3 per cent market share.

However, 235,000 of those sales were in Russia, which has embraced Chevrolet to the extent that it is now the number one import brand.

GM sources say Chevrolet will remain a value brand while Magna, the new owner of Vauxhall/Opel, will continue to try to push those brands further upmarket.

The Chevrolet Cruze saloon, which is based on the same Delta II platform as the new Astra, is already selling well in China, India and South America. However, European sales of the Cruze are expected to take off in 2011 when a five-door hatchback version arrives.

Before then, Chevrolet is placing great hopes on the new Spark city car, which goes on sale next February. Engineered by GM-DAT in Korea, it is based on an all-new platform that would have also underpinned the next-generation Corsa.

Also due next year is the seven-seat Orlando crossover, which is based on a stretched version of the Delta II platform.

In 2012 the all-new Aveo supermini will be launched in Europe. In the same year sources expect a Chevrolet rival to the Insignia, based on the same Epsilon platform.

By 2012, say insiders, Chevrolet could have increased western European sales from 265,000 units a year to well over 500,000.

Hilton Holloway

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Comments
7

17 September 2009

In other words, the reason for selling Vauxhall/Opel is to replace their European range with cheaper-to-build far eastern models.

Well, good luck with trying to sell those Chevrolets in Europe anyway...

17 September 2009

[quote Autocar]as GM turns its attentions from loss-making Vauxhall/Opel[/quote]

They were profit making until GM starting starving them of cash and shipping all the profits back to the USA to balance their own books.

17 September 2009

Hmmm, interesting. The future doesn't look too bright for Opel & Vauxhall, does it?

In addition to the rest of the motoring world, they will now be under direct attack from GM, their former owner. So they have to try and push upstream into the premium and very badge-conscious world of BMW/Audi/Mercedes. Not sure they have enough image (or cash) to survive there...

17 September 2009

[quote disco.stu]

Hmmm, interesting. The future doesn't look too bright for Opel & Vauxhall, does it?

In addition to the rest of the motoring world, they will now be under direct attack from GM, their former owner. So they have to try and push upstream into the premium and very badge-conscious world of BMW/Audi/Mercedes. Not sure they have enough image (or cash) to survive there...

[/quote]

Aren't we forgetting here that firstly, the majority if not all these Chevy badged things are made outside the European Union and so have a 25% import duty on them, to compete with EU-made Opels and Vauxhalls. Secondly, GM still owns 35% of 'New Opel', so on the face of it it would be cutting its own potential investment in this new entity if it deliberately set out to strangle it at birth. Thirdly, Chevy, as pointed out, is strongest for GM in Russia, a low-wage, low-quality market. Chevy-badged Korean products will struggle against the perceived, and in fact, better quality, better made Insignias, Astras and Corsas from Opel/Vauxhall. Fourthly, New Opel is already thinking of a lower-price budget Corsa version to compete with the Dacias, Hyundais and Chevys of this world. Fifthly, Magna has a lot of experience in Russia and if it can get the alliance with GAZ off the ground, building re-badged Opels for the Russian market, with Russian wage input costs, then it should give Chevy in Russia a fight.

17 September 2009

I think Vauxhall/Opel is in a good position with the existting Corsa, Insignia and the upcoming Astra. Best of all it does not have to be under consistent pressure from a underperforming parent.

The biggest problem is for GM, without Vauxhall/Opel their presence in Europe is next to zilch. Gm has been struggling with the Chevrolet badged Daewoos for nearly a decade now without any success, launching a couple more slightly cheaper, average cars will not change its fortunes by much.

17 September 2009

2 questions to throw into the pot ,

1, GM has expert knowledge of car making in Europe from Vauxhall/Opel and used Chevrolet as its "Cheap" brand in Europe so could turn Chevrolet around to Vauxhall standard within the next product (CAR) replacement plan which could be as little as 5 years for the whole brand.

2, GM only have a 35% stake in Opel/Vauxhall so wont want to place the many,many millions of there cash into Opel when that money is going to Chevrolet who are now in effect chasing/compeating in the same market.So what will happen when Magna need to replace the Corsa,Insignia and Astra,surely GM wont want to put in all those millions into a company that is in effect a competitor to it and can Magna have all the funds for replacments it will need for the next series of Opels.

If GM wanted to they can make Chevy a match for Opel , only time will tell.

8 June 2010

well chevy is quite good brand to go with but it does give some problems. i recently had some problem with my old chevy truck and had to replace the oil cooler lines. it ended up costing a bit high overall..

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