GERMANY: Views vary on Opel/Chevrolet brand distinction - report

By Graeme Roberts | 28 November 2013

There appear to be differing views within General Motors hierarchy over the relationship in Europe between the Opel and Chevrolet brands.

Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann told a conference in Germany his brand and Chevrolet must each be distinct and allowed to develop separately in Europe.

"There is a lot of scope to improve the market positioning of Opel and Chevrolet," Neumann said.

"To better reach out to our target groups, we must separate the brands more clearly from one another. We are working on that,'' Neumann said during his presentation at the Automobilwoche Congress in Berlin last week.

Asked how this would be done, Neumann said: "We're working on it and at the right point we will talk about it."

Neumann's comments reportedly echoed those of General Motors CEO Dan Akerson who told Automotive News Europe he was frustrated by the "confusing" overlap between Opel and Chevrolet in Europe.

Akerson likened the conflict between Opel and Chevrolet to "retro GM," when the automaker's US market strategy was cluttered with overlapping brands.

The auto trade weekly noted that remarks by both Akerson and Neumann contrasted with those of Chevrolet Europe head Thomas Sedran who said at the Frankfurt show last September there was "very little interaction between" the two brands.