GM CEO wants fresh perspective for Chevrolet in Europe

Article by Anita Panait, on July 1, 2013

General Motors chief executive Dan Akerson wants the carmaker to have a fresh perspective for the Chevrolet brand in Europe. This could be attributed to the fact that Chevrolet and sister brand Opel have overlapping products in the region, causing them to cannibalize each other sales. The latest examples of such overlap are the Chevrolet Trax and the Opel Mokka subcompact sports utility vehicles.

Although Chevrolet asserts there are ample visible and invisible content differences that distinguish the Trax and the Mokka, both SUVs share the same platforms, engines and transmissions.

The Trax, however, has the price advantage, as it costs around EUR2,000 less than the Mokka in Germany. Akerson remarked that Opel strategy chief Thomas Sedran, who is taking over as the new head for Chevrolet in Europe, is the right person to determine how the two brands fit together in terms of price and vehicle content as well as where they are sold.

Akerson added that Sedran understands the "channel conflicts" between Opel and Chevrolet. Opel managers will be concerned that GM seems to giving Chevy a stronger identity and equal standing with their brand in Europe. Currently, Opel's offerings feature more advanced electronic technology and better interiors than similar Chevrolet models. 

Chevrolet, however, is bridging the gap by offering technology such as its MyLink infotainment system as standard on higher trim levels of the Trax. GM has also said it does not want consumers to see Chevrolet as an entry-level brand, an image it has had in Europe since 2005 when the carmaker halted marketing its Korean-built cars as Daewoos. GM then rebadged the Daewoos as Chevrolets, expecting that the move would add instant brand heritage.

Topics: gm, ceo, chevrolet, europe

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