GM axes Chevrolet brand in Europe to focus on 'respected' Opel and Vauxhall

GM axes Chevrolet brand in Europe to focus on 'respected' Opel and Vauxhall

General Motors (GM) has revealed it is to axe its Chevrolet brand in Europe, despite significant efforts to raise awareness of the marque across the continent.

The manufacturer said it will focus efforts on its "respected" Opel and Vauxhall brands, to reduce "market complexity" in the light of a "difficult economic situation" in Europe.

GM has been selling re-badged Daewoo models under the Chevrolet brand in Europe since 2005, positioning it as an entry-level, discount marque competing with the likes of Kia and Renault-owned Dacia.

It has also signed lengthy sponsorship deals with Premier League football clubs Liverpool and Manchester United, including a deal to become the latter’s shirt sponsor from the 2014/15 season – with both sponsorships understood to be unaffected by the announcement.

Sales have stalled, even in the buoyant UK new car market, where according to the SMMT Chevrolet’s sales are down 13% year-on-year. In comparison, Vauxhall has enjoyed a 10% growing in UK new car sales.

As a result, the decision has been taken to focus efforts elsewhere, including on the reintroduction of its premium Cadillac marque.

Dan Akerson, GM’s chairman and chief executive, said: "Europe is a key region for GM that will benefit from a stronger Opel and Vauxhall and further emphasis on Cadillac. For Chevrolet, it will allow us to focus our investments where the opportunity for growth is greatest.

"This is a win for all four brands. It’s especially positive for car buyers throughout Europe, who will be able to purchase vehicles from well-defined, vibrant GM brands," added Akerson.

GM confirmed it would continue to support Chevrolet with after-sales services for existing customers.

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