However the network’s first priority is still to stay focused on building awareness of its current range and the brand as a whole. Carroll says: “There’s still a lot of growth to be had from making people aware that Chevrolet is selling value cars. That’s why we’re working with our retailers on advertising and events. We have a big programme of events in shopping centres this year. It’s a simple approach but we need to get people to know the cars.”
The programme is based around the UK’s chain of McArthurglen designer shopping villages, which attract families from a wide geographic area.
Prospective customers can register to receive details of their nearest dealer by email or SMS, and the data captured is fed to that dealership for follow-up.
Chevrolet is pulling out of the rental sector this year because of poor profitability and the effect on residual values. To compensate, Carroll wants around 30% growth in Chevrolet’s retail sales, but expects total registrations to remain flat.
When the Epica mid-size saloon arrives in early 2007, Chevrolet will begin a push for fleet sales, but prior to that it will enter the SUV market with the Captiva, launched this September in five- and seven-seat variants with either a 2.0-litre turbodiesel or 2.4-litre petrol.
Carroll adds: “The fact that the Captiva is our first seven-seater is a big thing for us. We expect it to be our best selling model next year.”