A few years ago, companies in the automotive industry wanted a body-on-frame midsize SUV, a la Ford Explorer. Today the trend is ambitious sales goals, with the Volkswagen Group aiming to be the global sales leader, Toyota aiming to set the record for recalls, and GM announcing that it wants to sell 1 million Chevrolet vehicles in Europe by 2015.
General Motors’ plan to achieve this goal involves eliminating rebadged Daewoo models and instead focusing on more global Chevy vehicles like the Volt, Spark, Cruze, and Orlando – a move that will allow GM to realize great economies of scale.
Thoughts of (un)attainability aside, this seems like a noble goal for The General. Without such lofty objectives, there would be very little growth. As such, setting targets, regardless of attainability, is important and admirable because of the opportunity and incentive (committment to goals) for growth which they provide. While GM’s ability to meet this target remains to be seen, The GM Authority team supports these ambitious goals simply because easy targets is not what makes or breaks an automaker.
Lastly, many wonder about the possible effect this will have on GM’s other European brands. Is it possible that the increase in European Chevy sales will come at the expense of Opel/Vauxhall? General Motors counters that this will not be an issue because Opel shoppers do not cross-shop Chevrolets. To that, GM Authority would add “yet.”
For the sake of comparison, GM sold a total of 425,000 Chevrolets in Europe in 2009. This effectively means that The General wants to more than double Chevrolet volume in under six years.
Almost every automaker has ambitious sales goals for the next few years and without a big change in the current economic conditions, the likelihood of attaining these targets looks a lot less likely. That said we’re behind GM’s effort 100 percent.