General Motors will replace the Daewoo brand name with the Chevrolet name-plate as the car maker enters new markets in central and eastern Europe, Automotive News Europe (ANE) reported.

Chevrolet may eventually replace Daewoo in western Europe as well.
The change will be made first in Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Turkey, starting at the end of this year, said Erhard Spranger, executive in charge at GM Daewoo Europe.

“The old Daewoo nameplate and the new GM Daewoo name does not differentiate enough,” Spranger said. “So it is better to use the name Chevrolet in markets where Daewoo was not active before.”

If Daewoo is already present in a market, the change will occur with the launch of new models, he added.

Daewoo vehicles have already been re-badged as Chevrolets in the Asia Pacific region [including Japan where they will soon be sold through the Suzuki dealer network] and the USA [and Canada].

In 2002, GM and GM affiliates acquired two-thirds of GM Daewoo, which was formed from many of the assets of the bankrupt Daewoo Motors.

“It is obvious that we may choose the name Chevrolet as well,” Spranger said.

Some new Lada models built by AvtoVAZ are already badged as Chevrolet in Russia.

Sources within GM Europe have told ANE that eventually the Daewoo name may disappear completely from export markets.

“It is a matter of time, but at least by 2010 that will happen,” one source said. Spranger did not confirm that.

He said: “We should not draw any conclusion from what we do in eastern European markets for the time being.”

In February 2002, Bloomberg News reported that GM’s attempt to sell a Chevrolet-badged version of affiliate Suzuki’s Ignis-based Cruze had flopped with sales well below target. Dealers blamed GM Japan – which has since been restructured – for not advertising the model enough while other sources said the combination of poor launch timing, Japan’s recession and a crowded small car market also did not help.