As a South Korean manufacturer with no heritage, Daewoo meant very little to car buyers when it entered the UK in 1995, but quickly made an impact on the market through its revolutionary direct sales process. In 2002 the company was acquired by GM to become GM Daewoo and cars were sold and serviced by about a third of the existing Vauxhall dealer network, as well as independent dealers, further contributing to limited awareness of the Daewoo marque.
According to Alan Cole, consultant for Glass’s Market Intelligence, the Chevrolet name change will have a positive impact in the UK.
"Chevrolet is a well-known and internationally respected brand name. Many car buyers will remember popular music extolling the virtues of Chevy Corvettes. The key point is that Chevrolet is a familiar marque to many, with the heritage Daewoo never had the time to develop."
All Daewoo vehicles will bear the Chevrolet name from January 1, 2005. Warranty and servicing packages for existing Daewoo owners will continue unchanged.
The brand change will begin with a new Chevrolet Lacetti Station Wagon (unveiled as a Daewoo at this year’s Birmingham Motor Show but never sold as such) and the Lacetti Sport.
"The name change will inevitably result in speculation about the values of used Daewoos. Our view is that residuals for Daewoo cars will not suffer adversely, as the changes relate solely to a re-branding of the badge, rather than a change of ownership. Furthermore, it is very likely that the Chevrolet brand will lift the current image of Daewoo in much the same way that Nissan achieved with Datsun in the early 1980’s," says Cole.