GM buys Chevrolet

GM buys Chevrolet

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On May 2, 1918, General Motors Corporation (GM), which will become the world’s largest automotive firm, acquires Chevrolet Motor Company.

GM had been founded a decade earlier by William C. “Billy” Durant, a former carriage maker from Flint, Michigan, whose Durant-Dort Carriage Company had taken control of the ailing Buick Motor Company. On September 16, 1908, Durant incorporated Buick into a new entity, General Motors, which by the end of that decade had welcomed other leading auto manufacturers–including Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Oakland–into its fold. In 1910, with GM struggling financially, stockholders blamed Durant’s aggressive expansionism and forced him out of the company he founded. In November 1911, he launched Chevrolet Motor Company, named for his partner, the Swiss race car driver Louis Chevrolet.

READ MORE: The Cars That Made America

Still the owner of a considerable portion of GM stock, Durant began to purchase more shares in the company as his profits from Chevrolet allowed. In a final move to regain control, Durant offered GM stockholders five shares of Chevrolet stock for every one share of GM stock. Though GM stock prices were exorbitantly high, the market interest in Chevrolet made the five-for-one trade irresistible to GM shareholders. With the sale, concluded on May 2, 1918, Durant regained control of GM. Just two years later, however, he was pushed out for good by Pierre S. DuPont, whose family’s powerful chemical company had begun investing in the fledgling auto industry by buying GM stock in 1914. Pierre DuPont subsequently rose to the chairmanship of GM’s board and became president in 1920. In an agreement made that same year, DuPont paid off all of Durant’s debt; in exchange, the controversial founder left the company.

Durant refused to bow out of the automotive industry, however, founding Durant Motors in 1921 and producing a line of cars for the next decade. The onset of the Great Depression in the early 1930s put an end to Durant’s career in cars, and he threw his entrepreneurial energy behind a string of bowling alleys located near the Buick complex in Flint, Michigan. When this venture failed as well, Durant faded from the public eye. He died on March 18, 1947, at the age of 85, just weeks before the passing of another automotive pioneer: Henry Ford.

The secret history of GM’s Chinese bailout

When US taxpayers footed a $50 billion bill for the bailout of General Motors in 2009, few could have guessed that the biggest of the Detroit “Big Three” (GM, Chrysler, Ford) would go on to import Chinese cars to the United States. Yet just seven years after its publicly-funded and highly-politicized rescue, GM says it will do exactly that: early next year the automaker will begin shipping Chinese-made Buick Envision crossovers across the Pacific for sale at its US dealerships, with a plug-in hybrid version of Cadillac’s CT6 flagship sedan to follow. Anyone who believed that GM’s bailout would create a bulwark against a long-feared flood of Chinese cars might be puzzled to find the very same automaker championing Chinese imports. In fact, this move is just the latest in a pattern that dates back to 2009, when GM received a secretive Chinese “bailout” that appears to have turned America’s largest automaker into a Trojan horse for its Chinese partner.

In his 2011 book American Wheels, Chinese Roads author Michael Dunne explores GM’s profound success in the Chinese market, dating back to the founding of its 1995 “Shanghai GM” partnership with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). He describes the relationship between the two firms as being mutually-beneficial through the early 2000s, but when the 2008 downturn brought GM to the point of bankruptcy the partnership took a troubling turn. Because the US auto task force refused to let GM spend TARP aid on its foreign operations, GM was forced to turn to SAIC for help. The resulting deal would forever alter the delicate balance of power in the Shanghai GM joint venture and drive GM to restructure its entire global strategy around its partnership with SAIC.

GM’s Asian-market woes in 2009 centered around its Korean operations, then known as GM-Daewoo Automotive Technology Company (GMDAT). Once GM’s global “home room” for engineering and exporting low-cost small cars for developing markets including China, GMDAT ran into serious cash flow problems when it lost $1.5 billion in foreign exchange alone in the first quarter of 2009. With GM headed towards bankruptcy, its US government rescuers unwilling to pay for overseas problems, credit markets largely frozen by the financial crisis and the Korean Development Bank refusing to extend loans beyond the $2 billion already owed to it by GMDAT, GM’s only option was to turn to its Chinese partner for liquidity.

By mid-November 2009, GM suddenly had $491 million to spend on GMDAT’s turnaround, but it wasn’t immediately clear where the money had come from. That December, the first details emerged: GM had sold 1% of Shanghai GM to SAIC, giving the Chinese partner a controlling stake in the venture. It also turned its struggling GM India division into a joint venture, with SAIC receiving a 50% stake in return for an additional investment of $350 million. At the time, GM executives said the deal would also allow SAIC to consolidate earnings from the joint venture and that in exchange it had helped GM “achieve some funding for other activities from the Chinese banking sector, which would have been difficult to do on our own.” In its 2010 year-end SEC filing, GM eventually clarified that SAIC had helped it secure a $400 million commercial bank loan, with its stake in Shanghai-GM as collateral.

The token $85 million price SAIC paid for the “golden share” in Shanghai-GM was the first sign that there was more to the deal than met the eye. In a business culture that obsesses on guanxi, or the “favor economy,” SAIC’s assistance at GM’s moment of desperation was a favor of epic proportions and one which would require significant strategic compensation. As Dunne points out, China’s joint-venture auto industry strategy had easily-identifiable goals:

Step 1: Form joint ventures with leading global carmakers.

Step 2: Absorb the foreign partner’s technologies related to car design, engineering, and manufacturing.

Step 3: Build cars under China’s own brand name.

With the upper hand on its bankrupt partner, SAIC had the leverage to make serious headway on this agenda. GM would eventually buy back the golden share, although not before SAIC received a controlling stake in the joint-venture’s sales company. But even this significant advantage didn’t square the bill: in the years following the golden share deal, GM began paying SAIC back on the strategic terms laid out by Chinese industrial policy.

Starting in 2010, GM began an unprecedented wave of technology transfers and joint development that would tie the two firms closer than ever and put the century-old automaker on an increasingly level footing with its upstart Chinese partner. GM announced that it would jointly develop its next generation of global small gas engines and first-ever dual-clutch transmission with SAIC at the R&D facility the two firms had established in Shanghai. At the same time, it signed a memo of understanding agreeing to “long-term strategic cooperation” on “new energy vehicles”—the Chinese government’s term for plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles. At a time when rising emissions regulations around the world were making fuel-efficient and electrified vehicle technology critical to the future of every automaker, GM was tying that future to its Chinese partner. With GM now importing its top-of-the-line Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid from its Chinese joint-venture plant, that future has already begun to arrive.

Even GM’s current core technology suddenly began appearing in the hands of its Chinese partner. The 2010 Chevrolet New Sail was described as the first passenger car to be jointly developed entirely in China, but under its skin lay the Gamma II platform that still underpins GM’s subcompact offerings like the Chevrolet Spark, Sonic, and Trax. By 2012, SAIC had developed vehicles using GM’s Delta II compact and Epsilon midsized platforms, giving it access to all three of GM’s core global car platforms. That year SAIC also launched its first vehicle with a dual-clutch transmission, the Roewe 550, beating its hundred-year-old partner to the punch. Within just three years of the golden share deal, SAIC appeared to be pulling ahead of GM technologically.

But success in China required more than the latest technology and GM also shifted its low-cost, developing-market focus from Korea to Shanghai. A three-way joint venture between SAIC, GM, and Wuling had been rapidly expanding sales of its spartan micro-vans and in 2011 it burst into the mainstream with its first own-brand vehicle, developed on the GM “J” platform: the Baojun 630. In 2012, the Baojun brand began producing its own version of the old Chevrolet Spark and has since added a subcompact SUV and MPV both based on its own “jointly developed” platform. Nearly one out of every four GM cars sold in China is now a Baojun, but as just 44% partner in Shanghai-GM-Wuling GM’s share of the profits is even thinner than at Shanghai GM.

With SAIC enjoying the upper hand in China and jointly running GM’s business in India, another shift took place in the relationship: GM began rebadging its partner’s Chinese-branded vehicles for export markets. Exports of Chevrolet-branded Wuling vans began as early as 2008 and the export of complete knock-down kits to for assembly in GM plants around the world accelerated after the golden share deal. In 2013, the Baojun 630—which had been planned as an export model—was rebadged for export to a variety of developing markets as the Chevrolet Optra. That same year GM’s global exports of Chinese cars exceeded 100,000 units, and when asked if Chinese-made cars might some day be sold in the US, GM China president Bob Socia replied “it could very well happen.”

The alignment of GM and SAIC’s global strategies has culminated in their announcement of a jointly-developed new architecture that will underpin all of GM’s small cars sold outside Europe and the US. Between this platform and the jointly-developed Small Gas Engine family, the line between GM and SAIC will have been all but erased in the majority of the world’s markets. This not only means GM will have to share all future growth market profits with SAIC, it also means the end of royalty payments that GM once earned for every car built using its engines and architectures. In every market with strong future volume growth potential, GM’s unique advantages with respect to its newly-empowered partner have been whittled down to the brands it uses to gloss over any stigma around Chinese products.

The importation of the Buick Envision will be the first major US-market impact of GM’s Chinese realignment, but at GM’s outposts in Korea and Australia the pain is being felt far more directly. In 2013 GM announced that it would end all production at its Australian division Holden, replacing the fiercely independent development and production center with a lineup of imported models. As late as 2003, GM executives said Holden’s last unique vehicle the Commodore—which was imported to the US as the 2004-6 Pontiac GTO—could be exported to China by 2017 that car will in fact be made in China and exported to Australia, where all that remains of Holden is a sales and service operation.

GMDAT was renamed GM Korea in 2011 “to reflect its heightened status in global operations of GM” according to GM’s official announcement, but the name change seemed to have the exact opposite effect. Having once provided the core technology behind many of GM’s most successful China-market products, GM Korea has lost its status as GM’s emerging-market “home room” to Shanghai-GM’s new joint emerging-market vehicle platform. In 2013, when GM decided to stop selling the Chevrolet brand in Europe, a market that accounted for more than 20% of GM Korea’s production disappeared almost overnight. Having kept GMDAT afloat for years with billions in Korea Development Bank loans, Koreans now find themselves swallowing bitter layoffs and preparing for likely plant closures.

Across Asia, there more signs of SAIC’s rise: GM’s Indonesian operations are being replaced by a S-GM-Wuling plant, GM canceled a planned expansion in Thailand after SAIC entered the market with a different partner, and GM moved the last remnants of its dwindling “international operations” to Singapore. SAIC did reduce its stake in GM India to just 7% in 2012 but only because, according to GM’s Socia, SAIC was ready to compete with GM. Since both companies will soon be offering the same family of emerging-market vehicles they are developing together in Shanghai, SAIC’s confidence is hardly surprising. With GM- and jointly-developed technology already underpinning its lineup of cars bearing the classic British MG (Morris Garages) brand, SAIC is also pushing into markets like Australia and the UK where GM has been in retreat for years.

Thanks to its unprecedented access to GM’s infrastructure, technology, brands, and cooperation in the wake of the golden share deal, SAIC has become the fastest-growing automaker in the world by market value. GM’s latest products and platforms debut in China before other markets, and its $12 billion three-year investment plan for China is more than twice the $5.4 billion allocated for the US market over the same period.

The fact that Korea and Australia have taken the brunt of GM’s China-centric restructuring proves that GM has long relied on overseas operations to supplement the products and profits generated in its home market. But American taxpayers should be aware that years of public assistance from the Australian government and Korean Development Bank did not prevent GM from moving development and production jobs to China. The comforting myth that government aid can halt GM’s strategic shift to China has simply not been borne out.

If US consumers don’t bridle at the presence of Chinese-made Buicks at their local GM dealerships, it seems likely that GM will continue to favor its now-dominant partner with a growing share of US-market profits. With a new United Auto Workers contract raising US wages and an expected Federal Reserve rate hike potentially raising the value of the dollar, Chinese imports will only become more cost competitive. Though GM may never become a fully Chinese company on paper, it will continue to integrate with and be eclipsed by its erstwhile Chinese protege. Having relied on the guanxi of a Chinese partner while in a position of desperation, GM could be repaying the favor forever. And until the US market can offer the growth opportunities China does, our 2009 investment in GM may never pay off anywhere near as handsomely.

The History Of Chevrolet

Chevrolet (IPA: / ˌʃɛvroʊˈleɪ/ - French origin) (also known as Chevy) is a brand of automobile, produced by General Motors (GM). It is the top selling GM marque, with "Chevrolet" or "Chevy" being at times synonymous with GM.

Chevrolet offers 18 vehicles and many different enhanced versions in its home market. The vehicles range from subcompact cars to medium duty commercial trucks. Its number one seller in the United States is the Silverado pickup. Chevrolet continues to be the performance, price, MPG, and value leader for General Motors North America.

North American history

Chevrolet was founded by Louis Chevrolet (Swiss-French) and William C. Durant (American). Louis Chevrolet was a race-car driver, and William Durant, founder of General Motors, had been forced out of GM in 1910. He wanted to use Chevrolet's designs to rebuild his own reputation as a force in the automobile industry. As head of Buick Motor Company, prior to founding GM, Durant had hired Chevrolet to drive Buicks in promotional races.

Chevrolet first used its "bowtie" logo in 1913. It is said to have been designed from wallpaper Durant once saw in a French hotel. Another theory is that it is a stylized version either of the shape of Switzerland or the cross on the flag of Switzerland, Louis Chevrolet's birthplace.

In 1915, Durant was in the process of setting up Chevrolet production facilities in Toronto, Canada. Later that year, during a luncheon meeting in New York with "Colonel Sam" McLaughlin, whose McLaughlin Motor Car Company manufactured McLaughlin-Buick cars, it was agreed that Chevrolets with McLaughlin-designed bodies would be added to the Canadian company's product line. Three years later, the two Canadian operations (Chevrolet was by then a part of GM in the United States) were bought by GM to become General Motors of Canada Ltd.

By 1916, Chevrolet was profitable enough to allow Durant to buy a majority of shares in GM. After the deal was completed in 1917, Durant was president of General Motors, and Chevrolet was merged into GM, becoming a separate division. In the 1918 model year, Chevrolet introduced the Model D, a V8-powered model in four-passenger roadster and five-passenger tourer models. These cars had 288in3 35hp (26kW) engines with Zenith carburetors and three-speed transmissions.

Famous Chevy models include the large and luxurious Impala (1958) and the innovative air-cooled rear-engined Corvair. Chevrolet had a great influence on the American automobile market during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1957, Chevy made the first fuel injected engine. In 1963, one out of every ten cars sold in the United States was a Chevrolet.

The basic Chevrolet small-block V-8 design has remained in continuous production since its debut in 1955, longer than any other mass-produced engine in the world, although current versions share few if any parts interchangeable with the original. Descendants of the basic small-block OHV V-8 design platform in production today have been much modified with advances such as aluminum block and heads, electronic engine management and sequential port fuel injection, to name but a few. The small block Chevrolet V-8 is used in current production model (2008) Impala sedans, a variety of light and medium duty Chevrolet trucks, and the current generation Corvette sports car. Depending on the vehicle type, they are built in displacements from 4.8 to 7.0 litres with outputs ranging from 180 to 638horsepower (476kW) as installed at the factory. It will also be used as a performance option in the forthcoming (2009 model year) revival of the Chevrolet Camaro. The engine design has also been used over the years in GM products built and sold under the Pontiac. Oldsmobile, Buick, Opel (Germany) and Holden (Australia) nameplates. Recently, a 6-litre, 400horsepower (300kW) version of the small-block V-8 designed initially for the C-6 Corvette has been installed in a factory-built high performance version of the Cadillac CTS sedan known as the CTS-V.


Even though the Australian market of today mainly consists of Australia's own automotive companies alongside Asian and European automobile brands, Australia once had its fair share of American cars as well. For many decades up until the very early 1960s, Chevrolet cars were manufactured and sold in Australia in the Chevrolet brand in the state of South Australia. Vintage Chevrolet models such as Bel Air, Impala etc, are still found in many states around Australia. Manufacturing has now ceased, and to this day has been succeeded by Dodge, Jeep, and Chrysler in terms of American Cars. The 1998-2001 Chevrolet Suburban was branded under GM Holden for sale within Australia. Today several of Chevrolet's designs are based on their Australian counterparts (GM Holden). Chevrolet is expanding its availability of large pick ups and SUV's in the Australian Market.

Latin America

Historically, many Latin American-market vehicles from GM were modified derivatives of older models from GM's North American and European operations. The current S10 and Blazer exemplify this strategy. However, more modern vehicles are now being marketed as market conditions change and competition increases. Besides those older models made in Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and Mercosur countries, Korean sourced cars from former Daewoo factories some markets also get German Opel and US made Chevrolet on top of their local line-ups.

In Brazil, the Chevrolet Opala was based on the German Opel Rekord from the late 1960s, continuing in production until the early 1990s, when it was replaced by a version of the Opel Omega. Other smaller Chevrolets in Brazil, such as the Kadett and Monza, were based on the Opel Kadett and Ascona respectively. Chevrolet's product line-up in Brazil now comprises some exclusive designs like the Corsa "B" based Celta sold in Argentina under the Suzuki brand, the Astra, and a brand new, Brazilian designed Vectra based on the current Opel Astra, while the current Corsa is built and the Omega name is now used on the Holden Commodore. Utility and four wheel drive vehicles line-up includes the S10, the Blazer, and the Montana. The Montana is a compact pickup truck, based on the Corsa, that is also sold in other Latin American markets. From the 1960s to the mid-1980s, there was also a large station wagon, derived from the [[ChevProxy-Connection: keep-alive Cache-Control: max-age=0

let C/ K|C10]] truck (somewhat similar to the Suburban), called the Veraneio.

Chevrolet production in Chile began in 1962, although at first through local partners (in this case, Avayu with the Nova II). GM still assembles the Isuzu D-Max as LUV D-Max in Arica and Isuzu´ F and N series in Huechuraba, Santiago.

Chevrolet has been operating in Ecuador for 80 years. GM Ecuador sells US Chevrolets alongside GM Daewoo and Opel sourced models. It also sells the 1983 Suzuki Supercarry under the Chevrolet namel, and the Isuzu Rodeo was sold as the Chevrolet Rodeo throughout the 1990s.

In Venezuela, Chevrolet has been operating since 1948, when truck production began in Caracas. In 1979 production moved to a plant in Valencia that was purchased from Chrysler. Chevrolet assembled more than 1,500,000 vehicles in its first 50 years in Venezuela.


In 1924 General Motors starts importing Chevrolet Double Phaeton models and are welcomed with great demand.

In 1925, in order to reduce costs in the Argentine market, General Motors decides to manufacture in Argentina and starts producing a sedan, roadster, a truck chassis and the Chevrolet Double Phaeton now called "Especial Argentino", a model exclusively designed for the Argentinean market. Sales increased and soon the Oldsmobile, Oakland and Pontiac units were incorporated to the assembly line.

When the Second World War broke out the operations were complicated. In 1941 the Chevrolet 250.000 is made, but the shortage of products made car production impossible. The last Chevrolet goes out of the plant in august, 1942. In order to avoid the total stoppage, the company made electrical and portable refrigerators and car accessories amongst other items. After the war, GM started producing the Oldsmobile and Pontiac lines and later Chevrolet is added.

In 1959, manufacturing plants are enlarged and set up to produce cars, pick ups and trucks. On 25th January 1960 the first Argentinean pick up Chevrolet is introduced. The following year the national government approves the investment plan for 45 million dollars which included a plant of 12,000 m2. On 12th march 1962 the first Chevrolet 400 is made based on the North American Chevy II. The original plan considered a national integration of 50% during the first year of production, this amount must get to be 90% in 1964 with a production of 15,000 units. By 1969, the Chevy line, derived from the American Chevy Nova is presented.

In the middle of the seventies, General Motors market share is reduced sharply from 9% in 1976 to 2% in 1978. Losses exceeded the 30 millions dollars and the head company in the USA decides to halt the productive activities in Argentina.

The Chevrolet trade mark reappears in 1985 for the production of the pick up in its versions C-20 and D-20. In 1995 a plan for the manufacturing destined to the exportation specially to Brazil and other countries of Mercosur is materialized with the building of a new facility near Rosario, Santa Fe for the production of the Opel based Chevrolet Corsa and the Suzuki based Chevrolet Grand Vitara 4x4.


In Mexico, some of these Opel-sourced Chevrolet models are sold alongside US models. An example is regarding the Vectra. While the Brazilian Vectra is based on Opel's current Astra Sedan, the Mexican Vectra is actually the current Opel Vectra sold in Europe. Mexico also has some cars of its own, such as the Chevy C2, which is a reworked last-generation Corsa, the Sonora (which is a re-badged Tahoe), and the Cheyenne (which is similar to the Silverado but is as different as the Sonora is to the Suburban). The Chevrolet Optra, assembled in South Korea by GM Daewoo, is also sold in Mexico.


Chevrolet Europe is a Swiss-based firm (in Zürich) that sells the rebranded products of GM Daewoo.

Until 2005, Chevrolet Europe sold a few models, mostly United States domestic market (USDM) models modified to suit European regulations. Among them were the Chevrolet Alero (which was a rebadged Oldsmobile Alero) and the Chevrolet Trans Sport (which was a Chevrolet Venture with the front end of the Pontiac Trans Sport). Among other models sold by Chevrolet Europe were the Camaro, the Beretta, the Corvette, the Blazer, and the TrailBlazer. The current generation of North American-built Chevrolet Impala V-8 sedans has also been available in Europe in recent years, marketed as both large family sedans and more economically-priced alternatives to Jaguars and BMWs as high performance executive cars.

It was in 2005 that all the mainstream models from GM Daewoo were rebranded as Chevrolet in Europe (The ownership of the SUV models in the former Daewoo range had reverted back to ownership of Ssangyong by this time). However the Daewoo name was retained in South Korea and Vietnam. In the rest of the world, most Daewoo models have worn the Chevrolet badge since 2003. Exceptions include the use of the Suzuki badge in the United States and Canada, the Pontiac badge in Canada, the Holden badge in Australia and New Zealand, and the Buick badge in China for certain GM Daewoo models.

The Corvette is marketed in Europe through a separate distribution channel operated by Netherlands-based Kroymans Corporation Group. Because the Chevrolet brand now represents value-driven cars in Europe, the Corvette name was made into a separate marque for Europe and Japan.

The Holden Commodore is badged as the Chevrolet Lumina in Thailand and the Middle East, as well as South Africa. The longer wheelbase Holden Statesman is sold as the Chevrolet Caprice in the Middle East.

Middle East

In the Middle East, Chevrolet-badged cars, trucks, SUV's, and crossovers are sourced from GM Daewoo (in South Korea), GM in North America, and GM Holden (in Australia). The Middle East market has a separate division called Chevrolet Special Vehicles (CSV), which (as of December 2007) sources the high-performance 400bhp (300kW) CR8 sedan from Holden Special Vehicles.


In Pakistan, Chevrolet introduced its cars in collaboration with a local automobile manufacturer called Nexus Automotive. The current models available are the Chevrolet Optra and Chevrolet Joy. As of December 2005, the Chevrolet Joy is being assembled locally in Pakistan.By 2008 Chevrolet launched their own website and added the Chevrolet Aveo and Chevrolet Colorado.


Chevrolet is among the newest brands in India launched by GM's Indian operations. Until June 6, 2003 (the official birthday of Chevrolet), GM India (which was originally a joint venture with Hindustan Motors) sold the Opel Corsa, Opel Astra, and the Opel Vectra. The Corsa and Astra were built at a plant in Halol, Gujarat.

Since then, Chevrolet currently sells the Chevrolet Optra, Chevrolet Aveo, Chevrolet Tavera, Chevrolet SRV , Chevrolet Spark and Chevrolet Aveo U-VA. The Chevrolet Forester, a rebadged Subaru, was imported directly from Fuji Heavy Industries in Japan until 2005. The Optra and Tavera are built at the Halol plant. The latest Chevrolet launched in India is the Chevrolet Captiva SUV, a rebadged Holden Capitva.

Chevrolet also is the sole Engine supplier for the Formula Rolon single seater series in India.


The American-built Chevrolet Colorado pickup is also manufactured in Rayong, Thailand.

General Motors is currently exploring cost cutting options as part of its restructuring plan. One of these options involve expanding the Rayong, Thailand plant to add additional capacity to export Colorado's to the U.S. This would allow the Shreveport, Louisiana plant to be closed (where the Colorado is also produced). This scenario is plausible only if a free-trade agreement is signed between the U.S. and Thailand, as the American tariff on imported pickup trucks from non-FTA countries is currently 25%. The United Auto Workers is the most vocal opponent to a change in the tariff structure.


In the mid 2000s, Suzuki imported and marketed the TrailBlazer and the Chevrolet Optra wagon in Japan. General Motors Asia Pacific (Japan) currently distributes and markets the Chevrolet TrailBlazer in very limited numbers. Suzuki, a GM partner, also assembles and markets the Chevrolet Cruze subcompact and the Chevrolet MW kei car. The MW was originally a rebadged Suzuki Wagon R. As of 2008, it is a rebadged Suzuki Solio. Mitsui currently distributes and markets the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Express, Chevrolet HHR, and Starcraft versions of the G-Van and Chevrolet Trailblazer. General Motors Japan directly imports and distributes the Corvette, which is marketed under its own marque. Thus there are three distinct distribution channels for Chevrolet-branded vehicles, and a separate network for Corvette-branded cars.

South Korea

Chevrolet-branded vehicles are not sold in South Korea. However, many global-market Chevrolet vehicles are sourced from GM Daewoo of South Korea.

South Africa

In South Africa, Chevrolet was GM's main brand name until 1982, with a number of Vauxhall Motors and Holden derivatives being built under the Chevy name from 1964. In the 1970s, the advertising jingle "braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet" (adapted from the US "Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pies and Chevrolet") came to epitomise the ideal lifestyle of white male South Africans. Holden in Australia used the jingle "Football, Meat Pies, Kangaroos and Holden cars". Originally, Chevrolets were CKD kits of US models assembled in their plant in Port Elizabeth. However, since South Africa was right-hand drive and the US was left-hand drive, along with encouragement by the South African government to use local content, Chevrolets such as the Biscayne were eventually made entirely in South Africa, along with GM's "own car for South Africa": the Ranger.

By the 1970s, larger South African Chevrolets were based on Holden models, the Kommando being based on the Kingswood and the Constantia on the Premier, while the smaller Firenza was based on the Vauxhall Viva. The Chevrolet Nomad sold in South Africa was entirely different from the Nomad sold in America whereas the American Nomad was originally conceived as a station wagon version of the Corvette and eventually became the station wagon version of the Bel Air, the South African Nomad was an SUV of truck proportions before SUVs were popular.

However, these were replaced by Opel models like the Rekord, Commodore, and Senator, and in 1982 the Chevrolet brand name was dropped in favour of Opel. Because of the political climate at the time, GM decided to divest from South Africa in 1986, and a local group eventually bought out GM's South African operations (including the Port Elizabeth plant) and renamed the company as the Delta Motor Corporation, which concentrated on Opels, Isuzus, and Suzukis, built under licence.

However, thanks to an improved political climate in the 1990s, GM decided to reenter South Africa, eventually buying out the whole of Delta. In 2001, the Chevrolet name made a comeback, used on the Lumina, a rebadged Holden Commodore, and later on, on the Daewoo range of cars. Current Chevrolets include the Spark (a rebadged Daewoo Matiz), Aveo, Optra, the Lumina (including the Ute model), and the Vivant, an MPV that is a rebadged version of the Daewoo Tacuma.


In Russia, various Chevrolet models are available. Current Chevrolets include the Spark, Aveo, Lanos, Lacetti, Rezzo, Epica, Captiva, TrailBlazer, and Tahoe. All of these models (with the exception of the TrailBlazer and Tahoe) are rebadged Daewoo models.

The Chevrolet brand is currently undergoing a product restructuring in North America along with all other GM brands in order to fit into the parent company's turnaround efforts. Since the 2007 hiatus of the Monte Carlo, there is an unknown status as of January 2009. In early 2009 Chevrolet will bring back the Chevrolet Camaro muscle car for the 2010 model year. At the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, the production version of the Chevrolet Beat was displayed under the nameplate of Spark Chevrolet announced that the Spark along with the Chevrolet Orlando would go into production in the US. Orlando is most likely to replace the HHR. In 2010 Chevrolet will introduce two more models: the plug-in electric Chevrolet Volt and the Chevrolet Cruze which will be the successor to the Cobalt.

In 2007, Chevrolet launched its first watch collection under the Louis Chevrolet watch brand. The watch collection pays tribute to Louis Chevrolet, co-founder of the brand, who was born in a family of a watchmaker and in his childhood helped his father at the workbench. The collection was called Frontenac, the name inherited from the race car company founded by Louis Chevrolet. The Chevrolet watch collection comprises automatic, manually-wound and quartz models, equipped with ETA and Ronda movements.

The Louis Chevrolet Frontenac watches, manufactured in Courgenay, the Swiss Jura region, feature the styling cues suggested by the Chevrolet cars. The collection was developed while applying the same materials as used in the car industry. Pearled appliques on the Chevrolet watches' dials remind the metal forms of the old dashboards. The number '8,' Chevrolet's racing number, is sported on the case back.

Chevrolet globally has had their marketing campaigns, songs, taglines, and slogans, these include,

GM buys Chevrolet - HISTORY

The Chevrolet
From 1916 to 1934


The life and times of the
Chevrolet logo

A Brief History of the Chevrolet

The Chevrolet began it's life in 1911 when a race car driver and automotive engineer Louis Chevrolet cofounded the Chevrolet Motor Car Company with William C. Durant and investors William Little and Dr. Edwin R. Campbell.
The design for the first Chevy, the Series C Classic Six was drawn up by Etienne Planche and was ready for production long before Chevrolet was actually incorporated.
This design was made by M. Etienne Planche on 15 March 1911 at a garage premises at number 707, later 3939 Grand River Avenue, Detroit. It appears that the small second story space above the garage was used for new engine design and construction only. Prototypes of the Chevrolet were produced in what would today be called a "pilot plant" in the 1145, West Grand Boulevard Plant that was used between August 1911 and August 1913.
By November 3, 1911 The Chevrolet Motor Car Company entered the turbulent automobile market.
Durant envisioned his new company as an inexpensive competitor to the Ford Model T.
He chose to name the company after its designer, Louis Chevrolet, because he liked the sound of the name and because Chevrolet was a prominent name in motor sports.
The Chevrolet family was poor and Louis was given only a basic education before he left home. He was not capable to be a designer/drawer, but got a great deal of technical experience, first in the wine and bicycle business in Europe, and then with several car dealers in New York after arrival in 1900. After joining the racing car business, chasing Barney Oldfield and others with success he was engaged by Durant first to the Buick racing team No. 1 with his brother, and later as a consultant adviser for the new car Durant had in mind.
Finally in 1934, GM put Louis Chevrolet on their payroll as a mechanic in one of the factories. Illness forced him to retire in 1938.
However the Louis' car: The Classic Six was far too expensive (USD 2100,-) to compete with the T-Ford, so Durant had to skip the big, expensive car and go for small, simple ones as the Little Four. As before, Louis disagreed. He "lost" his name to the car, but left with $10,000 and 100 shares in the Chevrolet Motor Car Company, and started working with another racing enthusiast, Albert Champion, on his racing career again.

The production of Chevrolet type C Six was so delayed that it became a 1913 model. From April 1912 until end of the year the Little Motor Company (owned by Chevrolet Motor Co.) produced 2999 Little Four's. All had "Little" as the emblem on the radiator (not Chevrolet). Regrettably there is still the published misnomer that Chevrolet built 2999 Classic Sixes as 1912 models as its first year of production. The first Chevrolet Six was ready for the dealers 2nd Jan. 1913, and was delivered to the first consumer 13th March. During July and August of 1914, all the remaining parts were used up and the Type C Classic production ended at Flint. Advertisements in August 1913 announced that the Little cars were now to be called "Chevrolets". Its 299 cubic inch, 6 cylinder engine could reach a top speed of 65 miles per hour.
The Chevrolet Bow Tie has been one of the World's most recognized trademarks since 1913, when William C. Durant first introduced the symbol that represents Chevrolet's winning success! The Bow Tie was used on the renamed Little cars for the 1914 season (late 1913).
A story in Chevrolet Pro Management Magazine, October 1986, which was copied in the May 1987 G&D, told that W.C. Durant did not copy the design from the wallpaper in a French hotel room, and that according to Mrs. Durant, the bow tie emblem was first seen by her husband in an illustrated Virginia newspaper, while they were vacationing in Hot Springs, Virginia around 1912. Mrs. Durant was quoted as recalling, "We were in a suite reading the papers, and he saw this design and said, 'I think this would be a very good emblem for the Chevrolet' " She did not explain how the newspaper used the emblem.
Chevrolet first used the Bowtie emblem in 1913. It is said to have been designed from wallpaper Durant once saw in a French hotel but there are several other versions of how the bow tie came about.
The success of the 490 sales in 1915 gave Chevrolet a flying start in the low price market. The 490 sold at that time for $490. However, the 490 was already too under priced when introduced, as all margins had been as low as possible from start. Ford fought back by reducing his price (several times) and Durant had to increase the price for his 490's after some few months. He could not challenge the continuously cheaper T-Ford mass production, so Durant used a different method of competing. he added sought after features like electric lights and starter etc. and he introduced the closed bodies to capture some of the low price market. This method worked.
Ford was far ahead with much higher volume, but Durant made much higher profits on each car, which was one of the reasons that he was able to regain the ownership in GM in 1916.
Chevrolet continued to improve their cars and add options that the public wanted. Chevrolet offered the first radio option in 1924.
Chevrolet sold it's first truck in 1918 and in that year joined GM Corporation.
GM nearly went out of business in 1920, when up to 100,000 cars of the "490" were stored at the
factories, unsold for some time.

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Chevy Engine History - The History Of Chevrolet, Part X

Editor's note - Heading into the new century, we felt compelled to take a look back at what will undoubtedly be one of the 20th century's biggest contributions to daily life-the automobile. Of course, Super Chevy looks at the history of the automobile through the eyes of the Chevrolet enthusiast. The following is the tenth in a series that will run throughout the year 2000 and cover the highlights of Chevrolet-from the creation of a company at a time when 270 other companies were vying for buyers of new automobiles, to the present day, when the competition is limited to just a handful of serious automobile makers. Much of the information is taken straight from Chevrolet sources, and some will be from the pages of this magazine's more than 25 years as "The # 1 Chevrolet Enthusiast's Magazine."

Chevy Engines Through Time
When Chevrolet began building vehicles, they were powered by a 299ci, six-cylinder engine. These automobiles could reach a top speed of 65 mph "without taxing themselves," and accelerated from zero to 50 in an "astounding" 15 seconds. By today's standards this isn't too impressive, but at the time Chevrolet was one of the fastest vehicles on the road.

In the early years, there was a great deal of research and development dedicated to coming up with a powerful engine that could be produced for a reasonable price. Chevy's first V-8 engine was released in 1917. The 90-degree overhead-valve design debuted in the D-series, the last of the original long-wheelbase cars. The eight-cylinder lasted only two years, as Chevrolet dropped these "large" powerplants to develop four-cylinder versions. It would be 1929 before a six-cylinder reappeared, and a V-8 wouldn't be available again until the introduction of the legendary small-block in 1955, 36 years later.

New engine technology-including "copper-cooled" models-was explored during Chevy's first decade. These were superior vehicles with air-cooled engines instead of the traditional liquid-cooled models. The engine was the smallest in Chevrolet history a diminutive 135 cubic inches with a miniscule 20 horsepower. The experiment was brief the engine was plagued with production problems and was scrapped after only 759 units were built-yet it was a bold move by a growing automaker willing to take chances in an oft-skeptical market. Another attempt at air-cooling would take place 37 years later with the '60 Corvair.

By 1925, Chevrolet was considering the use of six-cylinders again. Having just designed a small six for the Oakland division, Chevrolet realized it would have to maintain the corporate advertising image, "Valve-in-Head, Ahead in Value." The valve-in-head "Stovebolt Six" resulted: 3.2 liters big and 46 horsepower strong.

At first, the industry looked upon this six with doubt. Manufacturers were heading toward using aluminum to save weight, but Chevrolet made the decision to persevere with iron. The engine was derided as the "Cast-Iron Wonder," and the "Stovebolt Six" moniker was originally meant to mock the engine. But it gained respect for its durability and easy-to-service features in both cars and trucks. Advertised as, "A Six for the Price of a Four" in 1929 models, the "Stovebolt Six" was better, more powerful, and in the same price range as the previous year's four-cylinder.

A "power war" was developing between the major auto companies during the mid-'30s: Ford's V-8 versus the six-cylinder engines from Chevrolet and Chrysler. To battle Ford's horsepower and top speed claims, Chevrolet introduced a new high-compression design, the "Blue Flame" Six, in 1934. It generated 15 more horsepower than previous sixes without increasing engine displacement. Chevrolet promoted the achievement by advertising "80 horsepower at 80 miles per hour," the only time in Chevy history that top speed was advertised.

Ford was pumping the market with V-8 engines during this time, and Chevy developed a new four-main-bearing six for its 1937 cars and trucks. The Chevy engine produced as much horsepower as the Ford, but with better economy (estimated 15 to 18 mpg).

In 1950, Chevy introduced a more powerful "Blue Flame" Six (with 235 cubic inches), and 300,000 Chevrolet cars equipped with "Powerglide" models were sold the first year. a record production year in which a whopping 2,108,273 Chevrolets were built!

As most Chevy enthusiasts know, the '55 Chevy made a huge impact on the automotive market when it showed up, and much of that impact came from the all-new 265-inch V-8 engine under the hood. An engineering milestone, the small-block almost instantly changed the poky image that Chevrolet had earned with its Stovebolt six. The new V-8 was peppy, smooth, tough, compact, and, unlike competitors' V-8 powerplants, it was light. The mouse motor, as it became known as, made big strides in its first few years, jumping from a 180 hp top offering in '55 to 225 available ponies the next year. Optional fuel injection in '57 helped a bigger, 283-inch small-block hit the magical, one-horsepower-per-cubic-inch mark. This made screamers out of both fullsize Chevys and Corvettes, and it certainly caught the attention of hot rodders, who soon started swapping small-blocks into just about every kind of car imaginable.

Chevrolet offered an all-new engine for 1958-the W-block 348 (which would eventually grow into the famed 409). Paired with the year-old Turboglide transmission, the 348 looked good on paper especially the 315hp version equipped with three two-barrel carbs. But most 348s could still be regularly outrun by the lighter, high-winding 283s. It would take a few more cubic inches before these early "big-blocks" would earn more performance respect.

The '59s were most notable under the hood, where an optional V-8 engine produced up to 315 bhp. This "burner" thrived during the "more power" competition between the manufacturers.

The SS Impala and its optional 409-cid V-8 quickly proved itself on the performance circuit. One of the first cars equipped with this new powerhouse blew away the competition at the 1961 Winternationals Drag Racing Championships, held in Pomona, California. In fact, the 409, coupled with a four-speed transmission and some handling extras, placed the Impala SS among the world's fastest automobiles at the time. For 1962, the SS package could be combined with an even gutsier, dual-quad, 409-horse 409.

An innovative departure from the crowd was introduced on the Corvair. An air-cooled, rear-mounted six-cylinder "pancake" engine powered the car (the first air-cooled Chevy since the mostly experimental 1923 copper-cooled model). Another compact car was the Monza Spyder a 150-horse, turbocharged "mover" that could outrun any Ford Falcon or Plymouth Valiant of the day.

Throughout the '60s the inline six remained popular, but it was the small-block V-8s that really came into their own. Fuel-injected 327s making up to 360 hp were highlights of the next generation of Corvettes, the Sting Rays. Carbureted 327s found their way into the '65-67 Nova SSs. The '66 Nova SS, when equipped with the available 350hp (L79) version of the 327 "Turbo-Fire" V-8, was one of the hottest performers in the compact class. In 1967, the most popular configuration of the small-block V-8, the 350, made its debut. It found a welcome home in the newly introduced Camaro.

Of course, a new generation of big-block V-8s made a big impact in the '60s as well. The 396 made its debut in 1965, and was a standout performer in Corvette trim, pumping out 425 hp. A 375-horse version made it into a select few '65 Chevelles (Z-16s), and by '66 the SS396 package was a big seller in the Chevelle line. A larger, 427-inch big-block added more heat to the 'Vette that year, paving the way for the legendary L88 the following few years. The big-block eventually grew to 454 cubic inches, and by 1970 cranked out 450 hp in LS6 trim.

For 1971, ratings would be displayed as "net" horsepower, rather than the brawny "bhp," or brake horsepower ratings that had been performance benchmarks. The plummeting numbers began to reflect the awakening of energy conservation an awareness that would increase dramatically in this new decade. In addition, the 1973 oil embargo caused gas prices to double within two years. Suddenly, fuel economy was important. very important. Fuel concerns led to smaller, more efficient cars.

Though the big-motored behemoths were gone from the dealerships, performance was still on the minds of more than just a few buyers. The second-generation Chevrolet subcompact-Monza-evolved in 1975 as a sporty offshoot of the Vega platform. A front-engine, rear-drive hatchback, Monza provided smaller engines for the energy-conscious, yet offered optional V-8 power for those still wanting punch under the hood. In fact, its 262-cid V-8 was the smallest eight-cylinder in Chevrolet history.

The Chevy Sprint, a unique three-cylinder minicar, was introduced on the West Coast in 1984, and was the smallest car to ever wear a Bow-Tie. Imported from Suzuki Motor in Japan, Sprint economy was so outstanding that it became the fuel-miser champ in 1986 when the "ER" arrived-EPA-rated at of 55 mpg city and 60 mpg highway. (There was even a sporty limited production turbo version, a founding member of the now-burgeoning sport compact car craze.)

Chevrolet introduced the special Corvette ZR-1 in 1990. Designed in a cooperative effort between General Motors and Lotus, the LT5 V-8 engine sported four cams and 32 valves, producing 375 horsepower. 1993 marked a number of upgrades and improvements. The outstanding Corvette ZR-1 received a refined LT5 engine, cranking out an unbelievable 405 horsepower.

Trucks weren't ignored throughout Chevy's history, either. On a much less obvious basis, many half- and three-quarter ton pickups over the years were ordered with a stout big-block beneath the hood. One hauler was even promoted as a performance version, and was called the 454 SS. Under the hood of the 454 "SS" was a 454-cid Mark V big-block V-8, hence the name (despite the fact that the power levels didn't live up to its moniker, it still made the competition nervous, and it could definitely haul things to the dump).

The Ever-Popular Small-Block
When you think of the best engines of all time ,there's one that definitely stands out-the 1955 Chevy small-block. While that engine has unquestionably set the standard by which all engines since have been judged, it's not the only milestone in Chevrolet's history. Many of the various powerplants that have provided motivation for Chevy's cars and trucks throughout time were innovative works of art in their own right, but none ever came close to having the same effect on our hobby as the little mouse motor has.

Fortunately, Chevy hasn't rested on its laurels. Today an array of impressive powerplants are available (though most of the really exciting ones-sans the LS1-can only be had through the GM Performance Parts division and not on the cars found on the dealer's showroom floor).

Today's vehicles are primarily designed to simply get people from one place to the next without much emphasis placed on performance. Corvette and Camaro are the only holdouts from the high-performance arena. Both of Chevy's sports cars currently offer the impressive LS1 engine and a performance package at a price that's nothing short of phenomenal. Sadly, sales of these two vehicles (the F-body's are dismal and the 'Vette only accounts for a small percentage of Chevy's overall revenue) has left them without many supporters in GM's corporate structure. Furthermore, the Camaro is said to go on hiatus following the 2002 model year for an undisclosed period and there are no guarantees on what type of ride, if any at all, will emerge from the other end of that dark tunnel.

One Horsepower Per Square Inch
For a long time, one horsepower per cubic inch (of displacement) was the unobtainable goal. A milestone to be pondered: "Wouldn't it be cool to get a horse per inch?" Today, reaching that level is a fairly simple task (although few production cars make it there). With simple bolt-ons from the performance aftermarket, enthusiasts can achieve well in excess of one horse per cubic inch. Super Chevy magazine has built engines that churn out horsepower three times the displacement numbers.

Chevrolet first hit the one-horsepower-per-cubic-inch level in 1957. The 283 small-block was fitted with Rochester mechanical fuel injection (called "Ramjet injection") and churned out an impressive 283 ponies (a number that grew to 290 the following year). Unfortunately, though, Chrysler beat Chevy to the punch by making a whopping 355 horsepower with its 354 cubic-inch Hemi a year before.

Many of the higher-horsepower engines were actually power packages added to the base engine. Engineers knew that the standard-equipment engines benefited greatly from a little better breathing. The answer was to offer special packages that featured bigger carburetors (or multiple carbs, or fuel injection). The dual-quad carburetor setup (also immortalized in the Beach Boys song "409") was part of a power package designed to beat the competition in the horsepower game. At one time there were 158 different versions of the small-block being produced by Chevrolet-that's a lot of different ways to get power.

By the end of 1919, General Motors became only the second company in America to be capitalized at $1 billion.

Alfred P. Sloan Jr., a slim and serious man, took over General Motors as president in 1923 and dominated the company for the next 30 years. Mr. Sloan saw his immediate task clearly: a battle with Ford, the other great automaker at the time, for the “low-price, high-volume” automobile market. The Fisher deal made it possible for GM to compete with closed-body vehicles, which were, as he put it, “by far the largest single leap forward in the history of the automobile since the basic car had been made mechanically available.”

Mr. Sloan understood the future. Closed-body cars made a new driving experience possible, quite different from the open-air thrill that Henry Ford pioneered. With a hard roof, year-round travel was possible. Drivers could go on longer journeys (especially as roads improved). Closed-body cars also offered more anonymity, a potential boon for the small but rising number of African-American drivers. Suddenly, everyone wanted to be on the road.

But closed-body cars sold at high prices. After inking the deal with Fisher, GM was able to work its way toward selling closed two-door Chevrolets at prices that were within striking distance of Ford’s Model T. “The rise of the closed body made it impossible for Mr. Ford to maintain his leading position in the low price field, for he had frozen his policy in the Model T, and the Model T was pre-eminently an open car design,” Mr. Sloan wrote. “The old master had failed to master change,” he added. “Don’t ask me why.”

The company did more than just sell cars it revolutionized consumer behavior. In 1919, it created the General Motors Acceptance Corporation so that customers could buy cars on credit. This vastly expanded the market for mass production, and beyond the auto industry, it transformed the way that expensive items are bought and sold. It also used planned obsolescence: Vehicles debuted as new annual models. GM thrived by betting on the diversity of consumer preference. It was the first to offer cars in colors other than black and invested heavily in design. Its cars have become ingrained in American culture, from the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air to the 1977 Pontiac Trans Am. Car buffs exult at the tail fins of an Eldorado or the split windows of a Corvette Stingray as if they were sculpted by Michelangelo.

Although GM profits certainly enriched stockholders, they also fueled the rise of the middle class. That included the company’s huge labor pool, particularly after a sit-down strike in 1936-37 won the United Auto Workers the right to bargain collectively. Later, GM pioneered an employee benefit plan, akin to a 401(k), to entice the workers that it desperately needed. That, plus no-interest loans on the homes the company built, spurred a migration of new workers from around the world. America would never be the same.

General Motors and its army of workers transformed scores of American cities, including Detroit and Flint Janesville, Wisc. Lordstown, Ohio Trenton, N.J. Indianapolis and many other places that were built around their GM and Fisher plants — physically, politically and culturally. Like a photo negative, recent plant closures and cuts reveal how urban history is interlaced with General Motors history. Even in cities like Flint, where it has been in retreat for decades, GM’s shadow still looms: Mammoth vacant lots where auto plants once stood have required decades of work to repurpose, thanks in part to extensive soil contamination. At the same time, the patronage of yesteryear is visible in institutions like the Flint Institute of Arts, the Flint Symphony and Kettering University, the cooperative college formerly known as the General Motors Institute, founded in 1919.

But if GM was ahead of its time in some ways, it reflected it in others, especially around race. Its neighborhoods for working families were for whites only. Home prices kept out African-Americans, who were relegated to GM’s lowest-paying jobs. Insultingly, the same deed restrictions that prohibited livestock, liquor sales and outhouses in these sparkling new subdivisions also stipulated that they could not be occupied by anyone who was not “wholly of the white or Caucasian race.” In an ad from the 1920s, the exclusive realtor of GM homes assured buyers that “no shacks, huts, or foreign communities will be allowed.”

GM was far from alone in pushing a lily-white vision of the country’s future . And in putting its muscle behind segregation, it helped create patterns of inequality that remain with us today. This was exacerbated by the highways built through black neighborhoods to subsidize the new motoring class of suburban drivers. Disinvestment has consequences. It is not a coincidence that safe, affordable drinking water has been difficult to get in Flint, still recovering from a water crisis, or in Detroit, plagued by shut-offs.

16 Bad: 2008 Chevy Silverado

The 2008 Chevy Silverado had the potential to be a very solid pickup truck, but it really had far too many issues at the end of the day. This is largely because of the apparent fact that Chevy really did not look over the clear malfunctions of this truck before it was released. The 2008 Chevy Silverado is widely considered to be one of the worst trucks of the late 2000s and it definitely is not worth investing in at this present time. The Silverado is a prized series of pickups that have given us some truly wonderful trucks, but this one was a complete lemon.

Chip woes: GM to keep Fairfax plant down into July

Detroit — General Motors Co. updated its semiconductor plant impacts Friday, saying it will keep one plant down through the first week of July as the company continues to battle the chip supply shortage.

The Detroit automaker confirmed that Fairfax Assembly in Kansas, where the Cadillac XT4 and Chevrolet Malibu are built, which has been down since Feb. 8, will remain down through at least the week of July 5.

General Motors employees work on the assembly line Friday, April 26, 2019 at Fairfax Assembly & Stamping Plant in Kansas City, Kansas. The Fairfax facility produces the Cadillac XT4. (Photo: Jim Barcus for General Motors, File)

The CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, where the Chevrolet Equinox is built, will remain down through June 28. It has also been down since the week of Feb. 8.

Additionally, GM's Lansing Grand River Assembly, where the Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac CT4 and CT5 are built, will take downtime beginning the week of May 10 and through the week of June 28. The plant will still have pre-production volume of the 2022 model year Cadillac Black Wing in June.

The San Luis Potosi Assembly plant in Mexico, where the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain are built, will take downtime the weeks of May 17 and May 24. GM's Ramos Assembly plant in Mexico, where the Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox are built, will take downtime beginning the week of May 3 and through the week of May 24.

GM also noted that its midsize truck and commercial van plant, Wentzville Assembly in Missouri, has temporarily moved from three production shifts to two shifts. But the plant will continue running Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickups full volume until the scheduled launch changeover in late May.

This began the week of April 26 and will last until the plant goes down for its scheduled launch changeover the week of May 24.

Daewoo's Epic Flop Wasn't the End for Its Cars

Remember Daewoo? The third South Korean automaker snuck quietly onto the American scene in 1998, with three models and a sales plan that involved college students hawking the cars, Avon-style, to their friends. So what ever happened to Daewoo? The dealers disappeared in 2002, but their cars are still very much of a presence here in the U.S. Here's what happened, and why.

The New Daewoos Are in Early This Year

Daewoo certainly got an auspicious start. While Hyundai and Kia both started with a single model (the Excel and Sportage, respectively), Daewoo started with a comprehensive lineup of three. The entry-level Lanos was available as both a two-door hatch or a four-door sedan, powered by a 105-hp 1.6-liter engine. With power steering, antilock brakes, power windows and power locks as standard, it was a good buy for $8,900. The compact Nubira came as a sedan, wagon and a short-lived, bizarre-looking hatchback, Like the Lanos it was quite lavishly equipped for its $12,000 price. Power came from 129-hp, 2.0-liter engine available with a stick or a four-speed automatic.

Top of the lineup was the Giugiaro-penned Leganza, its name a portmanteau of the Italian words elegante (elegant) and forza (power), neither of which really applied to the car. But it was brisk enough with its 131-hp, 2.2-liter engine. Four-wheel discs, a stick shift, A/C and a 100-watt premium stereo were standard, and a full leather interior was optional, making it a viable Camry alternative at a rock-bottom $15,000 price.

Daewoo Gets Educated

All three were just-okay cars, a hodgepodge of mechanical parts from Holden and Opel, General Motors' Australian and European bureaus. (GM at the time had a stake in Daewoo, and the 1988-94 Pontiac LeMans was an Opel Kadett assembled in Korea by Daewoo.) But Daewoo had an innovative idea for selling them, using college student "campus advisers" who got a $300-$500 commission on each lead that turned into a sale. These advisors got a free trip to Seoul for training, use of a car for 90 days, and a 50 percent discount off the sticker price.

Sales were slow, though, and it shouldn't come as a big surprise that more than half of the cars sold in those first few months were bought by the campus advisors themselves. The students later filed a class-action lawsuit against Daewoo not only did they have to pay sales tax on the full sticker price, but they were surprised to learn that the 50 percent discount was reported as income to the IRS.

Student uprisings aside, Daewoo didn't last long: Their U.S. foray corresponded with the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. Daewoo Motors soon found itself in trouble, and in 1999 the car division was sold off to General Motors and reorganized as GM Daewoo and later GM Korea. Daewoo sales never took off in the States, and their American experiment was halted in 2002.

Daewoo's Absurd Afterlife: The Chevy/Suzuki Era

And what of the cars? Though Daewoo gave up on the U.S., the cars lived a lot longer than you might expect—even here in the States.

Production of the Lanos ceased in 2002, but GM continued to sell the car in knocked-down kit form to developing markets and third-world nations. As of 2020 you can still buy a Lanos in Egypt, though it's now labeled as a Chevrolet. Meanwhile, GM Daewoo's replacement for the Lanos, the Kalos, was available stateside as the thoroughly-awful Chevrolet Aveo.

The Nubura was redesigned after Daewoo's 2002 retreat as the Daewoo Lacetti, though that was just one of many monikers it wore. Fans of classic Top Gear will recognize the Lacetti as one of the show's Reasonably Priced Car stars. In 2004, the Lacetti came to Stateside Suzuki dealerships, where it as known as the Forenza in sedan and wagon form and the Reno as a (more conventional than the original) four-door hatchback.

The Leganza's return was a bit more bizarre: It too was refashioned as the Daewoo Magnus, and those ingenious Koreans managed to shoehorn a 2.5-liter inline six-cylinder engine sideways between the car's front wheels. Still playing up its Italian heritage, the car was brought to the States as the Suzuki Verona. A colleague who reviewed it told me it reminded him less of Verona, Italy, and more of Verona, New Jersey.

The Daewoos did well for Suzuki the brand topped 100,000 U.S. sales for the first time in 2006, and the Forenza, Reno, and Verona must have played some part in that, no matter how small. But Suzuki sales fell off a cliff during the 2008 economic downturn. The cars disappeared, and so did the Suzuki brand.

The Daewoo Is Coming From Inside the House

But Daewoo is not gone from the U.S.—not by a long shot. GM Daewoo became GM Korea in 2011, and it plays a significant role in General Motors engineering, perhaps a bigger role than GM would like to let on to the gung-ho buy-American section of its buyer base.

Today, GM Korea handles the bulk of engineering for GM's smaller vehicles. The Chevrolet Spark and about-to-be-discontinued Sonic are GM Korea designs, as are the Buick Encore (and Encore GX), and Chevrolet's Trax and Trailblazer. Bolt EV? Yep, that's a Daewoo, too—in fact, GM has partnered with Korea-based LG Chem for the Ultim Cells battery system, which will power the upcoming GMC Hummer EV.

Incidentally, Daewoo built other types of vehicles as well, and those divisions has been scattered to the winds. The truck division was sold to Indian automaker Tata in 2004, and Tata-Daewoo is now the second-largest truck producer in South Korea. Daewoo's bus business was spun off into Zyle Daewoo Commercial Vehicle, and sells buses in Korea and several developing markets.

Still want a Daewoo? Travel to South Korea and you can find plenty. Or you could just buy a Chevrolet Trailblazer. Sorry, though—no 50 percent student discounts.

Guide to Car Brands

Here we list each major car brand and its parent corporation, including some retired brands whose products are still readily available as used cars.

Brand: Parent Company

Acura: Honda Motor Company
Alfa Romeo: Stellantis
Audi: Volkswagen Group
BMW: BMW Group
Bentley: Volkswagen Group
Buick: General Motors
Cadillac: General Motors
Chevrolet: General Motors
Chrysler: Stellantis
Dodge: Stellantis
Fiat: Stellantis
Ford: Ford Motor Co.
GMC: General Motors
Genesis: Hyundai Motor Group
Honda: Honda Motor Co.
Hyundai: Hyundai Motor Group
Infiniti: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance
Jaguar: Tata Motors
Jeep: Stellantis
Kia: Hyundai Motor Group
Land Rover: Tata Motors
Lexus: Toyota Motor Corp.
Lincoln: Ford Motor Co.
Lotus: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group
Maserati: Stellantis
Mazda: Mazda Motor Corp.
Mercedes-Benz: Daimler AG
Mercury*: Ford Motor Co.
Mini: BMW Group
Mitsubishi: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance
Nikola: Nikola Motor Company, with a supply relationship with General Motors.
Nissan: Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance
Polestar: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group
Pontiac*: General Motors
Porsche: Volkswagen Group
Ram: Stellantis
Rivian: Rivian Automotive, with investments from Amazon and Ford, among others.
Rolls-Royce: BMW Group
Saab: brand owned by Saab AB assets owned by National Electric Vehicle Sweden
Saturn*: General Motors
Scion*: Toyota Motor Corp.
Smart: Daimler AG
Subaru: Subaru Corp.
Suzuki*: Suzuki Motor Corp. Owns a small stake in Toyota.
Tesla: Tesla Inc.
Toyota: Toyota Motor Corp.
Volkswagen: Volkswagen AG.
Volvo: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group

Watch the video: GM Truck Factory 2021 Chevrolet Silverado, 2020 GMC Sierra