Andy Carroll, managing director of the Luton-based GM Daewoo importer, reassures dealers that Chevrolet will foot the bill for the re-branding operation, which is being rolled out immediately. The network will continue to sell Daewoo-badged vehicles until the New Year. Servicing and repairs of Daewoos will continue as normal after the change – Carroll suggests Chevrolet dealerships may have additional branding as approved Daewoo service centres.
The company’s strategy for network growth will also continue as planned. “We are already growing our network under GM Daewoo, which currently stands at just over 90 retailers. Our target is to get 110 to 120. That’s not going to change under Chevrolet,” says Carroll.
One challenge facing the importer is overcoming a public perception of Chevrolet cars as large American fuel guzzlers based on films and TV programmes or visits to the US. However, consumer research has been very positive, says Carroll, and indicates that more than 90% of the car-buying public are already aware of the brand. “It’s part of our challenge to sell Chevrolet in the UK, but at least they’ve heard of it,” adds Carroll.
The product range will still be Korean-built in the short term, although the move also means Chevrolet models sold in other countries will be available for import should there be UK demand. “There are a lot of different Chevrolet models around the world. Going forward, we can see it would make sense to look at them for the UK,” says Carroll.
“It is a very exciting time for us in terms of the combination this offers. We know the products sold under Daewoo have been well received and we’re now able to combine that with a brand with broader appeal.”