Founded by Louis Chevrolet and ousted GM founder William C. Durant on November 8, 1911, Chevrolet was acquired by General Motors in 1917. Actual design work for the first Chevy, the costly Series C Classic Six was drawn up by Etienne Planche, following the instructions of his old friend Louis. The first C prototype was ready months before Chevrolet was actually incorporated.
China became Chevrolet''s third largest market, with sales 332,774 vehicles, behind only the United States and Brazil. It was time that the company trickled down to other parts of Asia. The launch of Chevrolet marked General Motors'' success in India. It set foot in India with the launch of Optra in 2003. The car was well received by the Indian customers. Chevrolet later launched the SUV Tavera which too did well in the Indian Market. But their true success was a ''Spark'' of brilliance. With the launch of Chevrolet Spark, not only did the GM sales numbers shoot up, but they developed a sense of confidence in the Indian consumers.
Chevrolet is among the newest brands in India launched by GM''s India 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, Astra, and the Vectra. The Corsa and Astra were built at a plant in Halol, Gujarat.
Since then, Chevrolet currently sells Cruze, Spark, Optra, Aveo, Tavera, Captiva, SRV (now discontinued) , Beat and Aveo U-VA cars in India. 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 Chevrolet launched in India the Captiva SUV. The latest models launched by Chevrolet are the Beat and the Cruze. Except for SRV, which we believe was launched ahead of its time, almost all Chevrolet cars are well accepted by Indians.
Chevrolet''s brand success in India can be measured with the fact that; even General Motors'' bankruptcy in the US did not hamper their sales in India. In fact, the bankruptcy had no impact on the Indian operations. Today, Chevrolet sells its cars through 150+ dealers in more than 120 cities in India.
Since then, there was no looking back for Chevrolet in India. In 2009, Chevrolet launched the Cruze which has been the best-seller in its class. Chevrolet launched the Beat in 2010 only to increase its market share significantly. Chevrolet''s premium SUV, Captiva too has been a strong player in its segment. The all Korean car has caught the attention of many Indians. The Chevrolet Aveo, Aveo UVA and the Optra have not been able to contribute much to the overall sales.
General Motors manufactures its cars from its Halol and Talegaon plants. Chevrolet''s Halol plant has an annual capacity of 75000 units while the relatively new Talegaon plant has a manufacturing capacity of 10000 units. Chevrolet plans to double the manufacturing capacity by the end of 2010. Having now understood the Indian customer''s mindset, Chevrolet has plans to bring in a few more cars to India.
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 and to rebuild GM. General Motors has recently been in development to make more fuel efficient Chevrolet branded vehicles in order to compete with companies like Toyota and Honda. The Monte Carlo, discontinued in 2007, is said to be replaced by the Camaro, also a coupe. At the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, the production version of the Chevrolet Spark was displayed under the nameplate of Spark. General Motors announced that the Spark would go into production in the US. Along with the Spark , General Motors will introduce two more models: the plug-in hybrid 2011 Chevrolet Volt; and the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, successor to the Cobalt.