GM needs to distinguish Chevrolet and Opel in Europe, in order to boost sales

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 20, 2011

Chevrolet’s stand at the Frankfurt Motor Show featured classic models: a 1957 Bel Air convertible, a 1941 Master Deluxe and an early Corvette. It’s clear that Chevrolet wanted to highlight the American brand’s heritage.

Playing up the U.S. identity of Chevrolet is a core element of a tricky marketing challenge for GM in Europe. For several years, General Motors had one mainstream, volume brand in Europe -- Opel.

However, GM is on track to sell around 500,000 Chevrolets in the European region this year, according to Autonews. Many of those vehicles are manufactured on the same architectures as Opel's and utilize many of the same components, providing GM the assignment of keeping the two brands separate in the minds of the consumers.

Nick Reilly, who is the president of GM Europe, has disclosed that so far, by research, the company is "very successful" in keeping the two brands apart.

Despite the fact that U.S. brands have had mixed success, at best, in Europe, Wayne Brannon, who is Chevy Europe brand boss, revealed that Chevy's American identity gives it unique character in Europe.

This scenario separates the brand from every other brand in Europe, according to Brannon, adding that classic car clubs for Corvette and Chevrolet owners form a good base for the identity. Ford, which is the only other U.S. vehicle manufacturer that sells at high volume in Europe, is generally seen as a European brand, Brannon added.

Topics: gm, opel, chevrolet, europe, sales

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