Chevrolet is a growing power in the European car market. Last year it registered 14,381 cars in the UK, this year it’s heading towards 20,000 and in 2008 to 24,000 cars, that’s close to the magic milestone of one per cent of the market.
A bigger expansion comes in 2009 when Chevrolet is heading for “comfortably over 30,000”, according to the company's genial managing director Rory Harvey. Knowing what’s in the product pipeline up to 2012, it’s not impossible to imagine two per cent market share and 50,000 sales.
The key to this continued sales growth is a new product pipeline chock-full of new metal. After this week’s launch of the Captiva soft-roader, the next significant launch is next March, when the Aveo supermini will go on sale. A re-skin of the Daewoo-era Kalos, it will be much more competitive against affordable hatches from the likes of Kia and Hyundai, partly thanks to its first diesel engine.
Essentially a stop-gap, the first Aveo will keep Chevrolet competitive until the all-new Aveo arrives in late 2010. The all-new one is a make-or-break car, not least because its platform – the global Gamma underpinnings in GM-speak – will be developed in Korea for use by any GM brand that wants to sell a 4.0-metre hatchback or saloon. And that includes Vauxhall and Opel in Europe, Chevrolet in the US/South America/China, Holden in Australia and maybe Saturn, too. So no pressure then.