Chevrolet is a well-known American car brand that has been around since 1911. Many people throughout the years have owned a Chevy-branded vehicle, and for many Chevrolet represents the essence of the classic American muscle car.
Although the brand has a rich history and has certainly made an impact on the automotive industry, sales seem to have dropped in recent years and the brand is not as popular as it used to be. If you’ve noticed the recent nosedive in Chevy’s popularity and were wondering what was going on, stay tuned!
In this article, we’ll be going over all the reasons Chevrolet is not popular, including rebranding, international sales, recalls, and more.
Chevrolet Brand History and Overview
Before we get into the reasons why Chevrolet is not popular, let’s first take a look at the brand’s history up until now. The Chevrolet Division of General Motors Company has a long and rich history dating back to 1911 when the company was founded by Louis Chevrolet and William C. Durant. The first Chevy cars competed with the Ford Model T at the time in 1929; back in those times, Model Ts were all the rage but consumers wanted them.
Over the years, Chevrolet went on to create some of the most classic American muscle cars of all time. In 1953 they produced the Corvette, a classic 2-seater sports car that is still extremely popular today. Other wildly popular vehicles produced by Chevy include the Chevrolet Impala, the Chevrolet Camaro, and the Chevrolet Traverse SUV. For many years, Chevrolet was an auto industry giant, and the vehicles it designed and manufactured had a massive impact on the American automobile industry.
Although Chevy had some great successes over the years, there were also some flops. Chevrolet released the SSR convertible pickup in 2004, and though it had a lot of buzz surrounding its release, the car ended up being a massive failure. Although the vehicle had a powerful engine, its goofy design, low-performance stats, and massive price tag soured the American market on the SSR almost immediately. Failures like the SSR show that although Chevrolet was an auto industry giant for many years, they are not immune to a fall in popularity.
Why is Chevrolet not popular?
Marketing and Rebranding
One of the main reasons Chevrolet is not as popular today as it used to be is the company’s marketing and rebranding. Many auto industry and marketing experts point to Chevrolet’s many rebrands and strange marketing in recent years as a reason for its downfall. Chevy was known for many years as a maker of classic American cars and a trailblazer for rugged SUVs, but the company has shied away from those features in recent years.
Let’s take the Chevrolet Blazer as an example. The Chevy Blazer is a classic SUV that was been revamped since 1969 to compete against the Ford Bronco or Jeep Cherokee. The Blazer had a lot of rugged popularity until it was unfortunately discontinued in 2005 following some management challenges at Chevrolet.
When the vehicle was reintroduced in 2019, many people were surprised and confused at the way the car was portrayed in commercials and marketing materials. Rather being depicted as a high-performing SUV, one of the initial commercials for the Blazer referred to the vehicle as a ‘sexy mom car’ and a ‘piece of candy.’
While there is certainly a market out there for the ‘sexy mom car,’ Chevrolet rebranding the vehicle in this way felt inauthentic to many audiences who previously knew it as a rugged outdoorsy vehicle.
Poor International Sales
Another reason that Chevrolet is not popular is because it is not as widely available on an international market as vehicles from other companies. While many car companies are internationally recognized and popular, making them global household names, Chevrolet ceased operations in many countries after sales began to take a nosedive. General Motors, Chevrolet’s parent company, filed for bankruptcy in 2010, and it seems that Chevy’s international recognition and sales have been very low ever since.
Since 2013, Chevrolet has ceased operations in many foreign countries, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and most European countries. Chevrolet Europe was discontinued in 2013 after General Motors announced that it would be withdrawing the Chevrolet brand from most of Europe besides Russia and CIS member nations.
The only cars available in Europe after this cease in operations were the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette, though these cars drastically decreased in sales and frequency following this announcement. In January 2018, Chevy only managed to sell one car in the United Kingdom. Though Chevy hasn’t taken as much of a nosedive in North America, the brand’s international recognition has plummeted and caused it to not be as popular with a global audience.
Scandals and Recalls
Chevrolet as a brand has also had its fair share of scandals and recalls. In fact, many of the incidents Chevy has experienced over the years have made national headlines and caused concern for many buyers. Chevrolet’s 1969 engine mount recall has been referred to as one of the most infamous automotive scandals in history. When the issue with the engine mounts was reported to Chevrolet, the company admitted that it had already received hundreds of reports of failed motor mounts, resulting in several accidents and injuries.
To compound this issue, General Motors feared the bad publicity and stayed quiet for 3 more years before announcing a recall of 6.5 million vehicles.
Chevrolet and General Motors have also had some pretty significant scandals in recent years as well. In 2014, General Motors was fined $35 million dollars for their connection to a deadly recall scandal that they kept quiet for almost ten years. This fine was the highest penalty in history in conjunction with an automotive recall, and it’s not hard to see why.
An investigation found that many of the Chevrolet Cobalt vehicles, as well as other General Motors models, had a faulty ignition switch that resulted in the car’s airbags failing to deploy. Though General Motors knew about this problem for a decade, they failed to recall the vehicles or issue any sort of warning, which ended up leading to the deaths of at least thirteen people. General Motors ended up recalling almost 13 million cars; after this incident, it is no suprise why many consumers, both new or old, have some skepticism for Chevy car products
Wrapping it Up
Overall, even though Chevrolet is a brand with a long history of popularity in America, that popularity has rapidly declined in recent years. There are many factors that have contributed to this, including recall scandals, marketing and rebranding, and loss of popularity in an international market.
If consumers don’t feel that safety is a priority to an auto company, it can be a major factor in popularity and sales nosedives. Don’t get me wrong, there are many great classic Chevy cars and the brand has certainly made an impact on the U.S. auto industry. However, with these recent changes and a narrowing in the global market, Chevrolet might be on its way out.
Be sure to stay updated on the latest car trends as well—