SPAIN: Chevrolet looks to move up division

By Simon Warburton | 2 December 2010

Chevrolet maintains it will enter the mainstream volume segment in Europe as it gears up to launch its ambitious six-model range next year.

Speaking to just-auto at this week's launch of its new Orlando MPV in Spain, Chevrolet Europe president Wayne Brannon conceded the manufacturer had been involved in the discount segment, but was now looking to move up.

"If you look at the UK or all of Europe, what you see is in all the volume segments, around 80% of the volume is in normal price, around 10% is premium and 10% is in the heavily discounted area," he said.

"We have been playing in the 10% discount area and now we are going to play in the 80%. The vast majority of the market price points will reflect what the customer is looking for - we think we are going in the right direction."

Brannon added despite the drive to move Chevrolet upwards, the market would remain "basically flat" next year before beginning a "slow curve" back in 2015 and 2016 to return almost to the sales levels of two years ago.

"We are not expecting significant industry growth but we are hoping in 2012 we will see a recovery," said Brannon.

The Chevrolet Europe chief forecast the company would sell 480,000 vehicles this year and that he did not expect any major new arena to open up. "We are present in every significant market already," he said.

He also noted the manufacturer was now in a position to add shifts back to some plants as the recovery continues.