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Chevrolet to be axed from Europe

Date: 05 December 2013   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Chevrolet, which builds models including the Trax, will cease trading in Europe and the UK at the end of 2015

Chevrolet is to cease trading in Europe following a decision by parent company General Motors to concentrate its Vauxhall and Opel sister brands, as well as a long-term plan to again relaunch Cadillac in Europe.

Chevrolet sales are due to cease in Europe by the end of 2015, though the long-term nature of the announcement means that activity may be wound down early. All Chevrolet servicing and warranty work will be picked up by Vauxhall dealers, as 70% of Chevrolet sites are twinned sites anyway.

"It's not like a company going out of business, GM will honour the warranty and supply of parts' there's no concern about the future availability of components," said a Chevrolet spokesman.

In a statement, General Motors said the decision was "largely due to a challenging business model and the difficult economic situation in Europe," for the brand born out of the now defunct Daewoo in the UK. "This will improve the Opel and Vauxhall brands and reduce market complexity associated with having Opel [Vauxhall] and Chevrolet in Western and Eastern Europe," read the statement.

GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson described it as "a win for all four [GM] brands."

There are 520 Chevrolet staff across Europe, 30 of which are in the UK, and they will continue with the brand as it winds down.

Chevrolet registered 7658 cars into fleet in 2012, growth of 24.1% over 2011, which saw it move up three places to number 21 in the list of fleet manufacturers by volume, sitting between Land Rover and Jaguar, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. So far this year, Chevrolet has registered 11,281 cars overall, 13.5% down on last year.

The previous attempt to launch the premium Cadillac brand in the UK came in the second half of the last decade, using the Saab 9-3 as a base for the BLS model. The new attempt will coincide with a new European-focused product line-up, including a new BMW 3-series rival, coming over the next three years.