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Wayne Brannon, President Chevrolet Europe, sat down with Lou Ann Hammond, CEO, www.drivingthenation.com, and a group of journalists at the 2011 Geneva motor show. Brannon has set a goal of selling one million Chevys in Europe by 2015-2016, assuming the economy continues to recover.
Ramp up, ramp down
When you have so many launches – Corvette grand sport (May/June), Camaro (June), Volt, Aveo (May, sold in June), Cruze (five-door in September), Orlando (Now) , Captiva (in a month), and the Volt on November 3, 2011, on the centennial of Chevrolet – you’ve got your work cut out for you.
A Chevy Cruze hatchback was unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show. Hatchbacks are a large percentage of sales in the B-C segment (around 60-65% Brannon says) in Europe, unlike the United States. Hopefully, as hatchbacks pick up steam in the United States Chevy will bring the five-door over. The Cruze will compete against the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus
“Hatchbacks play a critical role in many markets,” said Wayne Brannon, president and managing director of Chevrolet Europe. “The total compact segment in Europe represents over a quarter of the total market, with hatchbacks representing around 65 percent of that volume.”
Chevy says that the car we now know as the Sonic will be sold in Europe under the Aveo name, which still has brand equity in Europe. Chevy will be bringing out a diesel engine Chevy Aveo. Except for the Corvette, Camaro and Volt the Chevys sold in Europe will be made in Korea.
That maybe part of the reason consumers don’t crossshop Opel and Chevy, “Even though we’re in over 1,000 dealerships together. You’ve got a German brand known for engineering and an American brand known for American
In fact, while we were in Geneva General Motors officially changed the name from GMDAT (General Motors Daewoo technology) to GM-Korea. The name reflects the global nomenclature for segments of General Motors, such as GM-Europe.
And if Chevy gets up to 1,000,000 will Brannon take the product from somewhere else? You bet, “You know me, I’m just an old sales guy from Detroit. I’m just selling them, I’ll take them from anywhere”.