Owner General Motors says in a statement that the iconic US brand “will no longer have a mainstream presence” in Western and Eastern Europe and it will instead focus on growing its Vauxhall and Opel brands in the region.
Dan Akerson, chairman and chief executive of General Motors, says: “Europe is a key region for GM that will benefit from a stronger Opel and Vauxhall and further emphasis on Cadillac. For Chevrolet, it will allow us to focus our investments where the opportunity for growth is greatest.
“This is a win for all four brands. It’s especially positive for car buyers throughout Europe, who will be able to purchase vehicles from well-defined, vibrant GM brands.”
The statement adds the decision was borne from the “challenging business model and the difficult economic situation in Europe.” Chevrolet sales dropped 17 per cent in the 10 months to 31 October, giving the marque a 1.2 per cent share of the market. By contrast, sales of Opel and Vauxhall cars declined 3 per cent with the two enjoying a combined 6.7 per cent share of the market.
A spokesman for Chevrolet says the decision does not threaten its long-term sponsorship deals with Liverpool and Manchester United and that the partnerships will be exploited to grow awareness of the brand globally. – the marque starts a seven-year shirt sponsorship of United from the 2014/15 season and signed a four-year “official partner” deal with Liverpool last July.
He adds: “The partnership with Manchester United and Liverpool FC are of global nature and we intend to continue these relationships to help build our brand around the globe. We are particularly proud that as of the 2014/15 season,Chevrolet will be the shirt sponsor of Manchester United.”
The sponsorships were an attempt to grow the USA brand’s awareness in parts of the world where the two clubs enjoy a large following such as South East Asia. A single brand vision and communications platform Find New Roads was introduced in January.
“Select iconic” vehicles such as the Corvette will continue to be sold in Western and Eastern Europe and Chevrolet will continue to be sold in Russia, GM says.