Chevrolet can be considered the flagship brand of General Motors, based on its total annual sales and its broad lineup of vehicles. Chevrolet has existed since 1911, founded by Louis Chevrolet and William C. Durant, and became a division of General Motors in 1918. “Chevy” is a brand that has been sold on every continent in the world, in just about every market, offering vehicles for various tastes, needs and wants of each region. In North America, Chevrolet is best known for its pickup trucks, such as the historic C/K Series and the modern Silverado, as well as its sports cars and muscle cars such as the Camaro and Corvette. Chevrolet also dominates the full-size SUV segment in the United States with the Tahoe and longstanding Suburban nameplates. Along with the Camaro, Chevrolet has released several iconic muscle cars, such as the Chevelle, Nova, Caprice, Impala and Monte Carlo. Other memorable vehicles include the K5 Blazer, S-10 and Avalanche.
The iconic “bowtie” logo that Chevrolet is globally recognized for has disputed origins. It was said that Durant saw the pattern on hotel wallpaper in France in 1908. However, other equally reputable testimonies claim that Durant saw the logo in a newspaper in 1912, while another says that Durant riffed an existing logo used for “Coalettes” compressed coal. The final explanation is that Louis Chevrolet based the logo on the Swiss flag, which features a cross.
Since the Post War Era, the Chevrolet brand has evolved several times. At first being the entry-level General Motors brand (where theoretically a lifelong customer would move upwards to an Oldsmobile, a Pontiac, a Buick, and eventually be able to afford a Cadillac), it made for a perfect marque for WWII veterans and Baby Boomers to find some of America’s most fun and exciting vehicles, with more premium iterations of them existing in other GM brands (think Chevelle to Oldsmobile 442, or Camaro to Pontiac Firebird). Fast forward out of the Malaise Era and into the new millennium, Chevrolet has shed much of its budget-brand cachet, at least in North America, with demand for premium pickup trucks and utility vehicles attracting well-heeled customers seeking a vehicle that can tow a boat to a far-off lake just as easily as it can shuttle a family to a soccer game downtown. In the passenger car space, Chevy has recently dropped entry-level compact vehicles like the Spark, Sonic and Cruze, choosing instead to sell more memorable machines like the Camaro and Corvette. In fact, Chevrolet has long been recognized and measured by its muscle cars, and trucks, and almost never recognized by its more utilitarian offerings.
Going with its changing brand perceptions, Chevrolet has had several different slogans over the years. From “See The USA In Your Chevrolet,” to “Like A Rock”, “An American Revolution,” to “Chevy Runs Deep,” and today’s vague “Find New Roads,” the brand has softened its Americana messaging as it appears to seek out more globally-minded customers, despite having minimal footholds in other markets beyond the North and South America.
From 2018 and beyond, it started to become clear that General Motors intended to push the Chevy brand into the electric vehicle space. Early attempts such as the Spark EV, Volt and Bolt EV never really caught the attention that GM hoped they would, sales wise, and therefore all of them lost money for the Detroit-based automaker. Going forward, Chevrolet will be electrifying just about every iconic vehicle, from the Silverado pickup truck, to the rakish Corvette. The Camaro nameplate will once again go on hiatus after the 2024 model year, as muscle car sales continue to evaporate, with customers seemingly switching to off-road performance vehicles as the customer “grows out” of two-door passenger cars
Not to lose customers, the Chevrolet brand has made impressive headway into the off-road performance truck market. What began with the 2017 Colorado ZR2 mid-size truck has expanded to the larger Silverado ZR2 as of the 2022 model year, with a GMC Sierra AT4X equivalent to match. The next-generation 2023 Colorado ZR2 truck will take things a step further, with improved technology and capabilities, while and eventual Silverado HD ZR2 will sit above the off-road truck hierarchy as it looks to rival the Ram HD Power Wagon. Chevrolet has also entered a revolutionary partnership with aftermarket upfitter American Expedition Vehicles to make its Colorado and Silverado trucks even more capable, identified as “Bison” variants.
Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Chevrolet Corvair Monza
Chevrolet SS Performance Sedan
C9 Corvette (future)
Chevy currently competes in NASCAR (Camaro), IndyCar (engine supplier), IMSA (Corvette), WEC (Corvette) and Best In The Desert (Silverado ZR2, Colorado ZR2).
Key Chevrolet People
Scott Bell – Current Vice President, Global Chevrolet
Jaclyn McQuaid – Current Chief Engineer, full-size trucks
Nichole Kraatz – Current Chief Engineer, Silverado EV
Tadge Juechter – Current Executive Chief Engineer, Corvette
Josh Holder – Current Chief Engineer, Corvette
Harlan Charles – Current Product Manager, Camaro/Corvette
Larry Shinoda (1930-1977) – Designer, C2/C3 Corvette
Henry C. Haga. – Designer, 1st & 2nd generation Camaro
Tom Peters – Chief Designer, K2 Silverado, C7 Corvette, C8 Corvette, 5th generation Camaro, 6th generation Camaro
Jim Campbell – Current Vice President, Performance and Motorsports
Chevrolet Muscle Car & Truck Sales