Chevrolet Europe

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Chevrolet Europe GmbH
Type GmbH, subsidiary of GM Korea[1]
Industry Automotive
Founded 2005
Headquarters Zurich, Switzerland
Area served Europe
Key people Dr. Thomas Sedran, Managing Director
Products Automobiles
Employees 800
Parent GM Korea Company
Website Chevrolet Europe.com

Chevrolet Europe GmbH is a subsidiary company of GM Korea (itself a subsidiary of U.S.-based automaker General Motors), founded in 2005, with headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. It operates the historical US brand Chevrolet on South Korea-made models.

In 2013 the company announced that it was to withdraw the Chevrolet brand, with the exception of the Corvette and Camaro, from Europe, except Russia and CIS member nations, to concentrate on the Opel/Vauxhall brand, beginning in 2016.[2]

History[edit]

Chevrolet was established in 1911 by Louis Chevrolet and Billy Durant, the founder of General Motors. Louis Chevrolet had already built up a reputation as a mechanic and race driver, first in his native Europe and then over in the USA. He gained experience working with the largest car manufacturer of the time, de Dion-Bouton whilst dominating the race circuits for 15 years. In 1905 he set a land speed record by covering a mile in 52.8 seconds. In 1907, Louis Chevrolet began driving for Buick, which is where he met future GM founder Billy Durant. Seeing his passion for cars coupled with a reputation as a talented racer, Durant saw potential in creating a brand from Louis Chevrolet's name. Upon its birth, Chevrolet went on to establish a firm presence in North and South America, toppling the Ford Model T from the top sales position. In Europe, Chevrolet also had production facilities in Denmark, Poland and Switzerland, which continued operating until 1968. In the latter half of the 20th Century Chevrolet grew as a niche European brand with imports of the two flagship models, Corvette and Camaro as well as other Chevrolet vehicles.

At the 2004 Paris Motor Show, Chevrolet announced that it was relaunching the brand across Europe, basing its headquarters in Zurich, the largest city of founder, Louis Chevrolet's home country of Switzerland. By 2010 sales had risen from 295,000 units in 2005 to 500,000. This level of growth was in part due to the introduction of small and mid-sized cars built by GMDAT (GM Daewoo Auto & Technology). Chevrolet have recently announced plans to return two of their most iconic cars, the Camaro and Corvette to Europe in 2011.

Future cars and development[edit]

Chevrolet T2X Concept[edit]

Unveiled at the 2006 Seoul Motor Show, the T2X was developed in Korea by Chevrolet Europe's parent company, GM Daewoo. David Lyon, Executive Director of Design for GM Daewoo described it as a car that "exemplifies our company slogan ‘Driving Innovation’".[3] Mixing together both elements of a Sports Utility Vehicle and a Sports Coupe, it has a wheelbase of 2,707 mm, sporty wheel arches and wheels that are positioned outside of the vehicle's body giving the impression of an agile and athletic car. According to Max Wolff, Deputy Director of Advanced Design, the T2x has been designed to appeal to everyone, but in particular those in their 20s and 30s looking for a sports car feel coupled with the practicality of an SUV [4]

Chevrolet Sequel[edit]

The Chevrolet Sequel is GM's first hydrogen powered vehicle. Unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show in 2005, the vehicle operates via an electrochemical fuel-cell that combines hydrogen fuel with oxygen, generating electricity, the only by-product of this process being water vapour.[5] Although former GM Vice-Chairman Bob Lutz suggested that the Sequel could go into production by 2011, it was found the cost of producing the fuel-cells would be too expensive. Efforts were instead placed into preparing the hybrid technology behind the Volt for roll out over 2010/11.

Models[edit]

Aveo[edit]

A 5 seater hatchback, the Aveo is being launched throughout Europe in Summer 2011 as a competitor to the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Opel Corsa and Volkswagen Polo. The second generation Aveo was launched at the 2010 Paris Motor Show and is set to take over from the Daewoo Kalos, which has been known as the Chevrolet Aveo in most European markets for a number of years now. Earlier in the year, Chevrolet had also unveiled an Aveo RS concept, featuring 19 inch wheels and the North American Cruze's 138 bhp 1.4l Turbocharged Ecotec.

Captiva[edit]

Developed from the 2004, Chevrolet S3X concept car debuted at the 2004 Paris Motor Show, the Captiva is a crossover SUV developed in South Korea by GM Daewoo. In South Korea the car is referred to as the Daewoo Winstorm. Available in 5 and 7 seater iterations, What Car refers to the roominess and practicality of the cabin as particularly strong aspect of the car.[6] The equipment is also rated highly with base models being equipped with air conditioning, MP3 ready CD stereo, alloy wheels and a separately opening tailgate window.

Cruze[edit]

The Cruze name was initially used for a joint venture between Suzuki and GM which produced both the Cruze and the Suzuki Ignis in 2001. In its first incarnation, it was packaged as a crossover SUV. Subaru also adopted the shape of the car in 2003 to create the G3X Justy, exclusively distributed around Europe. In 2008, the name was resurrected as a compact sedan based on the GM Delta II platform, on which the European Opel/Vauxhall Astra also sits. The Cruze replaces the Chevrolet Cobalt and Daewoo/Chevrolet Lacetti. The Cruze body was used as part of a test to determine electric car driving patterns and "real world" behaviour, in preparation for the launch of the Chevrolet Volt.[7] The cars are set to be outfit with 31 kWh battery packs that are claimed to have a range of 100 miles, producing a 0-62 mph time of 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 103 mph. The battery unit itself is set to take just 8–10 hours to fully charge. In Europe a hatchback version of the Cruze is due to launch in the second half of 2011, with 1.6 and 1.8 petrol engines, accompanied by a 161 bhp 2.0 diesel. As yet there is no official word on whether the 1.4 ecotec engine used in North America will make its way into the European model.

Orlando[edit]

The Orlando is a seven seater MPV being released throughout Europe in Spring 2011. Seen as a rival to the Ford S-Max, VW Touran and Opel Zafira, it signals another step in Chevrolet's goal of establishing itself as a European brand. The car itself will initially be available in a 1.8 litre version delivering 139 bhp and two 2.0 litre diesel versions with the most powerful of the two creating 161 bhp.[8] In a first test of the car, UK car website, Autocar suggested that the car could compete with the Zafira and S-Max in terms of practicality. They point in particular to the size of the cabin and the 30 different seat arrangements, which help position it as a significant rival in the MPV market.

Spark[edit]

Initially unveiled as a concept under the name Beat during the New York International Auto show in 2007, the Spark is aimed at targeting a younger urban market with a need for value, fuel economy and practicality. Along with two other concepts referred to as Trax and Groove, Chevrolet invited the public to vote on their site for which one they preferred. Upon winning and going into general production, Beat was first unveiled in Europe at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show under the namebadge, Spark. Some of the revisions from the original Beat concept to the final production line Spark include a more rounded nose and larger headlights. Upon going on sale, the Spark has taken over from the Matiz, which had been badged as a Chevrolet in recent years, and is available in 1.0 and 1.2 litre variants. The underpinnings make it a sister car to the Opel/Suzuki joint venture which produced the Suzuki Splash and latest generation Opel Agila. These cars supplement the petrol engines available in the Spark with a GM 1.3 diesel engine.

Iconic models[edit]

Camaro[edit]

Along with the Corvette, the Camaro has been a popular American import to Europe since it launched in 1966. Chevrolet made the announcement in March, 2010 that the Camaro was going to be made available on the European market for the first time in 2011.[9] In a press release, Chevrolet state that a coupe and convertible version would be made available outfitted with 400 hp, 6.2-liter V8 Active Fuel Management engines.

Facing up against competition from the Citroën C3 Picasso and the Kia Soul, the Camaro was named the World Car Design of the Year at the 2010 World Car of the Year Awards.[10]

Corvette[edit]

Chevrolet announced the arrival of the Corvette Grand Sport in March 2010.[11] At the Geneva Motor Show 2010, Chevrolet showcased the Corvette Grand Sport, Coupe and Convertible announcing plans to release the Coupe and Convertible versions later in 2010.[12]

Volt[edit]

The Volt is a hybrid electric vehicle set for release in the fourth quarter of 2011 in Europe. After the Volt concept was unveiled during the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, GM former Vice-Chairman, Bob Lutz suggested that the Volt was the "first steps in the electrification of the automobile". The Volt itself runs on a lithium ion battery that Chevrolet claim can last for up to 60 miles on a single charge. After the charge has depleted, a petrol powered generator starts to charge the battery enabling a further 400 miles of range.[13]

It has been on sale in the US since December 2010 in a select number of regions where it has been met with largely positive reviews. Washington Post journalist, Gene Weingarten, renowned for his stance against American cars tested the Volt and suggested that the versatility of the engine showed insight that differentiated it from any other car before it.[14]

The Volt has also received several awards including ‘Car of the Year’ accolades from auto magazines Motor Trend and Automobile.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://media.gm.com/media/intl/en/company.brand_chevrolet.html
  2. ^ "General Motors to withdraw Chevrolet brand from Europe". BBC News. 5 December 2013. Retrieved December 2013. 
  3. ^ "2006 Chevrolet T2X news, pictures, and information". Concept Carz. 2010. Retrieved February 2011. 
  4. ^ "Chevrolet T2X concept – where sports coupe meets SUV". Chevrolet. Retrieved February 2011. 
  5. ^ "Sequel - the cross-over concept powered by hydrogen". Chevrolet. Retrieved February 2011. 
  6. ^ "CHEVROLET CAPTIVA 4X4 REVIEW". What Car. Retrieved February 2011. 
  7. ^ "Chevrolet Cruze EV Korea trial". Auto Car. 21-09-10. Retrieved February 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ "Chevrolet Orlando review". Auto Car. 23-10-10. Retrieved February 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ "Officially Official – Chevrolet Camaro Coming To Europe". GM Authority. 09-03-10. Retrieved February 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ "Chevrolet Camaro – World Car Design of the Year 2010". Ausmotive. 08-10-10. Retrieved February 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ "Corvette Grand Sport Arrives in Europe". Chevrolet. 03-03-10. Retrieved February 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. ^ "Geneva 2010: Corvette Grand Sport European Premiere". GT Spirit. 04-03-10. Retrieved February 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. ^ "Chevy Volt". CNBC. 29-07-08. Retrieved February 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ "Gene and the Machine: The shocking truth about the electric Volt". Washington Post. 30-01-11. Retrieved February 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  15. ^ "chevy-volt-collecting-car-of-the-year-awards". Wired. 16-11-10. Retrieved February 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]