Chevrolet Turns 100, and the Journey is Just Beginning


Iconic brand, born in Detroit, is growing around the world
DETROIT – When the first Chevrolet was built in 1911 in a rented garage near downtown Detroit, it began a journey that has taken Chevrolet to every corner of the planet. A hundred years and more than 209 million cars and trucks later, Chevrolet is one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries.

“We have great plans for Chevrolet’s next 100 years,” said Chris Perry, vice president, global marketing and strategy for Chevrolet. “Chevrolet starts its second century with its best product lineup ever and strong growth in major markets in Asia, Europe, and South America.

“Our goal is to build on the foundation laid in our first hundred years to make Chevrolet a hometown brand in home towns around the world,” said Perry.
Global mainstream brand
Chevrolet is becoming GM’s global mainstream brand, the foundation of the company’s business in most major markets. In recent years, Chevrolet has expanded from its traditional markets in North and South America, and its list of Top 10 markets now includes China, Russia, Uzbekistan and India.

Chevrolet today sells more than 60 percent of its vehicles outside the United States. Last year, Chevrolet sold a record 4.26 million cars and trucks, and was the only Top Five global auto brand to grow its market share. This year, Chevrolet is on track to post its best sales in its 100-year history.

Cars and trucks to enhance life’s journey
“Like many of the strongest global brands, Chevrolet is founded in American values that are admired around the world,” said Perry. “Chevrolets are built to enhance everyday life, and to enable people to do more and experience more as they travel through their life’s journey.”

Chevrolet’s deep roots in American culture resonate with many customers around the world, who share the belief that getting behind the wheel is as much about the drive as it is about the destination. This emotional connection between Chevrolet and its customers is so deep that more than 700 popular songs and dozens of films include Chevrolet in some way.

New global products fuel growth
New, globally designed-and-produced models are behind Chevrolet’s record growth.  For example, the Chevrolet Cruze is on pace this year to mark 1 million in total sales since its launch. Cruze went on sale in the United States last year, and is now the nation’s best-selling compact car, surpassing all Asian, European and U.S. competitors.
An all-new Malibu sedan will launch this fall in South Korea, along with a global midsize Colorado pickup in Thailand. An all-new Sonic subcompact (Aveo in global markets) goes on sale this fall in the United States, followed by the Spark mini-car in 2012.
Chevrolet was founded on building affordable cars and trucks with style, value and features not offered by competitors. For example, in 1955, Chevrolet re-engineered the V-8 engine in a way that made performance accessible to millions of new customers. The result was the small-block V-8, named by WardsAuto as one of the 10 Best Engines of the 20th Century.

This spirit of innovation continues today. A new Malibu Eco model will include eAssist technology that improves fuel economy by approximately 25 percent. Last year, the first Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle rolled off an assembly line near Detroit, combining electric power and a small range-extending gas engine. The Volt and Malibu are part of Chevrolet’s global electrification strategy to reduce petroleum use and vehicle emissions.

Chevrolet was created in 1911 by auto pioneer and industrialist and William C. Durant and Swiss-born race car driver Louis Chevrolet. Durant believed Chevrolet should produce cars offering more style and value than the volume leaders of the time, most notably the Model T.

“Although both men had left GM by 1920, Chevrolet has stayed true to this vision,” said Perry. “Chevrolet’s global presence as it enters its second century is a monument to its founders, and to the many others who have made Chevrolet one of the world’s great car brands.”

Fast Facts:

  • Chevrolet sold 4.26 million vehicles globally in 2010
  • That averages to one Chevrolet sold every 7.4 seconds
  • Chevrolet’s top five global markets in 2010 were, in order: the United States, Brazil, China, Canada and Uzbekistan.
  • More than 60 percent of Chevrolet sales in 2010 were outside the Unites States
  • Chevrolet has sold more than 209 million vehicles in the past 100 years
  • 2011 is on track to be Chevrolet’s best sales year ever