Since GM took over Daewoo and eventually renamed it Chevrolet, it has gone from being the leading Korean brand in the UK in the 1990s to a distant third place.
The biggest irony is that a GM-owned Daewoo should have been able to understand the European market so much better than its competitors. GM has been making and selling cars in Europe since the 1920s, 50 years before anyone in the West had even heard of Hyundai.
However, Chevrolet has been languishing for many years in this country, with sales stuck below 20,000 a year, while its Korean competitors forged ahead to over 70,000 cars a year each (and with realistic targets of 100,000 units within the next few years).
In product terms, it is not hard to see why: each current Kia or Hyundai is a quantum leap over its equivalent of a decade ago. In relative terms, Chevrolet has been going backwards since the original Matiz. Another problem unique to Chevrolet turned out to be twinned showrooms with Vauxhall.
As one insider put it, “People wandered in to look at a value Chevrolet and often saw a great offer on a Vauxhall. It was Vauxhall that got the order”.