General Motors Discontinuing Chevrolet in Europe by 2016; Australia's Holden Next?

By Jacob Brown | December 05, 2013
Clearly, General Motors' European operations have been experiencing something of an identity crisis as of late, with products that aren't selling too well, a financial crunch that's quashing profits, and the conflict as to whether Chevrolet is really even necessary outside of the U.S. GM has been working to rectify those issues, and now we have a clearer idea of just how it'll do it. Starting in 2016, GM will be discontinuing Chevrolet in Europe. That'll allow some space at the bottom for both Vauxhall and Opel--largely identical brands--to further expand their offerings. Right now, Chevy sells the Spark, Sonic/Aveo, Cruze, Malibu, and Camaro and Corvette in Europe, and it does so at cheaper prices than Opel and Vauxhall. Meanwhile, the Opel Adam, Corsa, Astra, and Insignia occupy much of the same space. Many of those lines could merge into one, however, as almost all of them share common parts.
"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," said GM CEO Dan Akerson in a statement. Chevrolet will instead focus its efforts on the U.S., South Korea, and Eastern Europe, where its presence is strong and its mission is clearly defined alongside Opel. All of this will help bring down costs associated with running multiple brands that occupy the same market space. For specialty products like the Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro, they'll still be sold as Chevys. Meanwhile, it looks like GM might be culling Australia's Holden division from its portfolio in much the same way. With rising costs and minimized sales products tailored specifically like the VF Holden Commodore sedan--our 2014 Chevrolet SS--a report surfaced that GM would be stopping its Aussie operations. Australia's federal government has adamantly denied this, however. It would make sense, given GM's strong reliance on Chevrolet products rebadged as Holdens--and its strong production in Thailand and South Korea--to leave the Australian mainland. But only time will tell. As for the U.S., with products made around the world for our market, the most this would mean is further streamlining of GM's portfolio to sell here. Sources: GM, News (Australia)