Chevrolet, a very American name but which in the 2000s also finds Korean roots. How is it possible? Backing up a bit. In July 1978, an unknown South Korean investor, unknown in Europe, became a 50% shareholder in a small manufacturer called Shinjin Motors.
The factory then assembles cars from General Motors. In January 1983, the group’s automotive branch was renamed Daewoo Motors. In 1999, it is a crisis.
Production declines and if nothing is done, all analysts agree that Daewoo will not be able to survive in the 21st century by remaining independent. With ties to GM so close, General Motors bought the automotive arm of Korean conglomerate Daewoo in 2002, with a small idea in mind.
Daewoo becomes Chevrolet
GM will replace Daewoo vehicles under the Chevrolet brand. The cherry on the hat, this new brand, inspired by Chevrolet USA, will be General Motors’ new flagship in Western Europe.
In 2005, with great enthusiasm, Daewoo models immediately became Chevrolet. What bothers customers a little, who immediately see the Daewoo Matiz, a Korean version of the Twingo, taking the Chevrolet name.
A brand that evokes large American sedans or the Chevrolet Corvette. But GM promises, other models are coming and they will conquer Europe.
Very average models
Quickly, new things are connected. From the Cruze sedan to the Captiva through the Trax or the Trailblazer, new models appear as dealers create a virtual network across Europe.
Often Opel dealers, who strengthen their offer with Chevrolet. The least that can be said is that the European buyer is not very impressed by Chevrolet’s offer.
Sales are plummeting, ads are being bundled and Chevrolet isn’t making a penny in Europe. At the end of 2013, GM takes stock of its European investments. And it’s not a good attitude.
Chevrolet is leaving Europe
To everyone’s surprise, GM management, through its CEO Dan Akerson, announced the withdrawal of the Chevrolet brand from Western Europe from 2016. Everyone was surprised, starting with other dealers who had just invested money in the common agreement. GM does not want a direct competitor to Opel.
Meanwhile, Chevrolet has never made any money and is seeing its sales continue to decline. It’s a complete failure when you consider the situation of the other two South Korean competitors, Hyundai and Kia.