How Chevrolet plans to double sales in EuropeWed, 01 Dec 2010 00:00:00 -0800
Chevrolet is planning to double European sales inside five years - and the new Orlando MPV and ground-breaking Chevrolet Volt are just two examples of how GM's budget brand plans to reach new customers.
We often hear how up-and-coming brands hope to perform sales miracles, and the harsh truth is there's not the space for all of them to be proved right. But there is enough momentum behind Chevrolet to pay attention to this particular claim.
Chevrolet Europe president and managing director Wayne Brannon told CAR that the company would sell around 480,000 cars in Europe in 2010, enough for a 2.5% market share.
'Our business model is built around 1 million units a year by 2015,' Brannon said. 'Today's European car market is depressed. It stands at around 17.5-18 million units, but it used to be 22 million.'
Brannon predicts that a slow recovery in Europe will fuel Chevrolet's expansion here, as well as new product such as the Orlando, Volt extended range hybrid, Cruze hatchbacks and Camaro halo cars.
'Our market share is 2.5%, but we could easily be a 5% brand, especially with all the new product coming on stream,' claimed Brannon. 'Put it this way, at the end of 2009, we competed in 29% of the European market. By the end of 2015, we will be present in 58%.'
The Korean brand has seven new models arriving in the next 12 months: the new Orlando MPV, a facelifted Captiva SUV, a new Aveo in saloon and hatchback bodystyles, a hatchback Cruze, Camaro coupe and convertible and the Volt.
Chevrolet will market the Volt in the UK as well as across Europe. Previously, it had been unclear if the Volt would be sold alongside the Vauxhall/Opel Ampera.
But Brannon added that all-new product wasn't the only catalyst for sales growth; adding more engine and transmission variants would also spread the appeal of the Chevy range.
'For instance, 45% of the Aveo sector is diesel in Europe, and we haven't been able to compete previously,' said Brannon. 'But soon we will.'
Seven new models in 2011? Sounds like Chevrolet is gearing up to celebrate its centenary in style.
By Tim Pollard