GM axes Chevrolet Europe

Chevrolet Spark
5 Dec, 2013 11:19am Jonathan Burn

GM has announced it will axe Chevrolet from Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall as well as expanding Cadillac

GM has announced it is to drop Chevrolet from European markets by the end of 2015 to focus on the Opel and Vauxhall brands, which have struggled to compete in the increasingly competitive European market.

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Poor sales by Chevrolet have also contributed to the decision, as the manufacturer has struggled to build a significant market share in Europe since the brand was relaunched back in 2005. GM also announced it is finalising plans for the expansion of Cadillac across Europe, where numerous new products will be introduced.

“Europe is a key region for GM that will benefit from a stronger Opel and Vauxhall and further emphasis on Cadillac,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “For Chevrolet, it will allow us to focus our investments where the opportunity for growth is greatest.” In the UK Cadillac is unlikely to be sold though, as there are currently no plans to convert cars into right-hand drive.

The bulk of Chevrolet’s cars- and the majority of its sales - are produced in South Korea with the majority of them being rebadged Daewoos. Around 186,000 models were exported to Europe last year. General Motors, Vice Chairman Stephen J Girsky said that the decision was "done independantly of the PSA relationship" but also said "The financial results have been unacceptable."

However the decision to close the European arm of Chevrolet will cost the company an estimated $700-$1 Billion (£611.2M) in expenses, severance costs and special charges, something which was confirmed by a spokesman for the company who spoke to Auto Express. 

After 2015 Chevrolet will continue to offer iconic models such as the Corvette and Camaro in Western Europe, as these left-hand drive only models are low volume and built in America, so cost little to produce. The marque's main focus will be on North America and Russia. The manufacturer is also working across its entire European dealership network to ensure it can fulfil obligations to existing Chevrolet customers.

“Our customers can rest assured that we will continue to provide warranty, parts and services for their Chevrolet vehicles, and for vehicles purchased between now and the end of 2015,” said Thomas Sedran, president and managing director of Chevrolet Europe. “We want to thank our customers and dealers for their loyalty to the Chevrolet brand in Europe.”

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So they pull out 2015,and still want us to keep buying their products don't think so!!!!!!!!!!

"In the UK Cadillac is unlikely to be sold though, as there are currently no plans to convert cars into right-hand drive"

Appears that GM dont like making or willing to invest in RHD, always been the case such as Corvette, Camaro, & even the roadster Opel Speedster/Pontiac Solstace - the successor to the Vauxhall VX220 which they 'didnt' have neccessary tooling, yeah right.... & the chevrolet europe or UK atleast replaced the Daewoo brand, guess that wont come back....

To be honest, I personally don't care about Cadillac, Chevrolet etc. There are other more talented vehicles I would rather spend my money on. The lack of American models are no great loss for me.

Indeed. I think this story will be the final nail in the coffin for Chevy and I would expect to see them gone well before 2015.

Can't believe how inept Chevrolet have been in setting up themselves in Europe, they have seem to have had a total lack of understanding of the EU market, and were a bit unlucky as well that the EU market hit the austerity button to help pay for the failures of the taxpayer funded bailout of the EU banking system. That had over extend themselves in a get rich quick US subprime housing scheme.

Volt only had 2 dealerships that could maintain, with about the same amour of sales to match.

It's poorly screwed together high priced South Korean made junk, nobody wants was never going to be a hit.

LHD drive American made gas guzzling cars exports are out of touch with EU fuel prices, were always going to struggle to make it above 21 sales a year like the Camaro in the UK.

May be its better they go, and leave Opel/Vauxhall to look after Europe. Just hope they don't continue to haemorrhage billions in losses every year within the EU.

Still it will be a shame, l will be very sad to see Chevrolet go, but l won't be missing those dreadful Korean made cars.

It's a shame as Brits are the No1 biggest buyer of American Ford & GM cars in Europe.

1/3 of the world drives RHD cars still. Sad to see GM giving up on those markets just rolling over and dying giving up the fight, wonder why Toyota, Honda, Lexus, BMW & Mercedes, Range Rover don't do the same thing Stateside, they have the right products that can complete on the world stage in any market.

They don't send half baked cars with steering wheels fitted to the wrong side of car that nobody in their right mind would ever want to consider buying. Then hope to charge top dollar premium price for what is a very dangerous drive.

Quality buyers want a quality car and are right to have something as basic as the steering wheel fitted to the correct side of the car.

How hard can it be to design dashboard that concentric with instruments laid out on the centre line that can be flipped over for LHD/RHD car markets, most cars use electric steering so if you had a large conduit that run through fed wiring cables though the centre of the dashboard,

I think the big mistake they made with Chevrolet was re- badging Daewoos as Chevys when GM took over the Korean factory. If they had given us some of the American models like the Impala and Malibu they might have done better. Chevrolet sales in the states are huge, they are very different to the cars offered over here.

I do think that cars like the Malibu, Impala etc are interesting and quite different from what we get here but sales wise I personally think there would be little demand in the UK. It has to be said that cars like the Cruze, Aveo and Spark are also sold in the US.

Chevrolet Europe should have started from the top of the range-down like a good quality DSLR camera, with top higher end quality RWD/AWD USA made models sold first, spiced up with fuel-efficient diesel/petrol engines that match high EU fuel prices, with all with LHD/RHD options as standard. Introducing these models later on in, when it was to late in LHD ONLY, with engines to big out of tune with UK fuel prices just show how inept Chevrolet have been.

This would have started Chevrolet off on the right footage with a strong foundation to start from in the EU, given the brand a quality ora around its cars with a high profit yield..

Just felt from day Chevy Europe was doomed to failure, made the big mistake of copying Kodak low rent FWD camera business model, going after the low end small FWD no profit end of the camera market.
Chevy & its dealers were always going to struggle to make money stay alive with very little profit on a few sales every month completing at the FWD low rent end of the car market..

The problem here is that GM where too lazy with the Chevrolet brand. What did they expect from sales when there was next to no advertising done to make people aware that the brand was available in the UK!??
Surly if this was done, then Chevrolet would have easily been able to compete with the likes of Kia, Hyundai, and Proton in the UK!
The market may be crowded, but I feel there was still a place for Chevrolet in the UK and Europe if more effort was put in.