Chevrolet offers over 20 vehicles and many different enhanced versions in its home market. The vehicles range from subcompact cars to medium duty commercial trucks. Its number one sellers in the United States include the Silverado pickup, which is currently the 2nd best-selling vehicle in the United States behind the Ford F-Series and the Impala, which is the number one selling car with a domestic nameplate in the United States.
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 La Chaux-de-Fonds, Neuchâtel, Switzerland). See Flag of Switzerland.
In 1915, Durant made a trip to Toronto, Ontario to determine the possibility of setting up production facilities in Canada. After meeting with "Colonel Sam" McLaughlin, whose McLaughlin Motor Car Company manufactured the McLaughlin-Buick, it was agreed the Chevrolet Motor Car Company of Canada, operated by McLaughlin, would be created to build Chevrolet cars there. 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 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 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 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, 6-litre, versions of the small-block V-8 designed initially for the C-5 and C-6 Corvettes have been installed in factory-built high performance versions of the Cadillac CTS sedan known as the CTS-V.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 disinvest 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 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.