Chevrolet: Brand Profile


Selected Chevrolet advertising

Chevrolet is the lead brand in the portfolio of global auto giant General Motors. Always a key component of the overall portfolio, it became the central brand in a restructured GM during 2009, contributing as much as 70% of total volumes by the year's end. Chevrolet holds a special place in American popular culture, arguably the best loved car marque in the country's history. As the company's 2003 marketing campaign proudly boasted "They don't write songs about Volvos". Instead GM managed to compile a list of around 200 songs which feature Chevys, most of them making some reference to the golden age of the 1950s, a period when the brand was at its peak, seeming to epitomize America's freewheeling spirit and the new rock 'n' roll era. Yet a slump in US sales in 2008 and 2009 prompted significant changes in Chevrolet's future profile. In the latter year, international sales of the Chevrolet brand overtook domestic for the first time in history, although the vast majority of those sales were of models designed and produced by GM's Korean subsidiary, then known as Daewoo. Chevrolet's US sales have recovered since then, but its global profile has also soared, especially in developing markets such as Brazil, China and Russia.

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Adbrands Weekly Update 10th Jul 2014: Ads of the Week "Manchester United". It's two years since the announcement of General Motors' controversial deal to make Chevrolet official car and shirt sponsor of Manchester United. That deal led to the ousting of GM's marketing chief (for exceeding agreed budget limitations) and bizarrely remained in place despite GM's subsequent decision to pull the Chevrolet brand out of Europe. Here finally is the big reveal of the new shirt, in a neat spot from McCann's Commonwealth network. It might bring a tear to the eyes of older fans, as childhood memories are jogged by those classic round-neck kits of the 60s and 70s, and the charming cameo by Sir Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and Norman Whiteside. Then grimace at Wayne Rooney's intense concentration as he struggles to remember and deliver his closing lines. No born actor he.

Adbrands Weekly Update 16th Jan 2014: Auto manufacturers have begun to report their global totals. First to declare were linked Korean manufacturers Hyundai and Kia, who delivered a combined total of 7.56m vehicles, up around 6%. Chevrolet reported a rise of 3.5% to 4.98m units, led by solid growth in the US, China and Mexico. Daimler claimed a near-11% jump for its main Mercedes-Benz marque to over 1.46m passenger cars. Total passenger car deliveries including Smart (which slipped 3%) were 1.56m. Rival Audi came in higher though, with an overall 8% rise to almost 1.58m. That included big increases in China (+21.2%), the US (+13.5%) and the UK (+14.9%). However BMW remains top dog with branded sales of 1.66m, also up almost 8%. Second-string brand Mini delivered only a 1% increase to 305k to bring BMW Group sales up to 1.96m, a 6.4% overall rise. Volvo's increase was rather more modest at 1.4% to almost 428k units, with the US and China each accounting for 61k cars. China was also a key market for Jaguar Land Rover, which enjoyed a 19% jump in global sales to just over 425k cars. Jaguar sales alone soared by over 42% to almost 77m units.

Which agencies handle advertising for Chevrolet? Find out more from the Adbrands Account Assignments database

Who are the competitors of Chevrolet? See Cars Sector index for other companies. 

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Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Jan 2014: Paul Edwards was named as the new VP, US marketing for Chevrolet, replacing Chris Perry, who resigned last month. Edwards was previously executive director, marketing strategy & support. Separately, Chevrolet transferred Hispanic marketing into McCann-affiliated Casanova Pendrill (from Latinworks). 

Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Dec 2013: Chevrolet's VP, US marketing Chris Perry has resigned. His successor has not yet been named. Formerly head of Chevvy's global marketing, Perry's duties were cut back to the US market earlier this year following the appointment of former VW exec Tim Mahoney to the worldwide role. However, the impending shutdown of Chevrolet in Europe will significantly reduce the car marque's global marketing requirements.

Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Dec 2013: In a major about-turn, General Motors said it would effectively withdraw the Chevrolet brand from much of Europe by the end of 2015 in order to devote the bulk of its energy to the still-struggling Opel and Vauxhall businesses. It also plans to boost the regional profile of luxury brand Cadillac, still more or less unknown in Europe. GM launched the Chevrolet brand as a mainstream marque in Europe in 2005, rebadging what had previously been the Daewoo model range, acquired by the group a few years earlier. It has continued to develop the business aggressively, especially in Eastern Europe, but despite success some in some countries (notably Russia, where it will continue to market the brand) sales across the region as a whole remain modest. Steve Girsky, who has been overseeing Europe operations at GM, said "The decision to focus on growing Chevrolet's presence in Europe was made years ago when Opel's future was in question. It has become clear that Chevrolet's results have become unacceptable, and we have to make a resource-allocation decision here. Opel is gaining momentum, and the Chevrolet resources will be redeployed to help that and grow the brand elsewhere." The shut-down of Chevrolet is expected to cost GM between $700m and $1bn.

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