While it once went under the slogan ”Heartbeat of America,” Chevrolet (NYSE:GM) is hoping to widen the stage and become the heartbeat of 140 countries, America included.
“When you go back in time and look at when we were at our best, it was when Chevrolet had products that moved people’s minds and connected to them on an emotional basis,” said Alan Batey, who is expected this week to be named Chevrolet brand chief worldwide. ”They were cars for the people and cars for families, and we are moving back to that.” Batey is now hoping that Chevy can have the same appeal in countries such as Brazil, Russia, and China that the brand enjoys in the States.
Of the 9.3 million global vehicle sales in 2012, worth about $152.26 billion, about 70 percent carried the Chevy bowtie on the grill. However, market share decline has forced GM to serious re-examine the Chevrolet brand, and put more energy and resources into its reinvigoration. Chevy’s share is now tracking at a historic low in the U.S., where it fell to 12.8 percent in May — down from 14 percent six years ago.
In addition to expanding its availability, CEO Dan Akerson wants to push a more broad selection of vehicles through the Chevy nameplate, from low-cost compact cars to family sedans and work trucks.
“This is the year both Chevy and GM need to increase their market share,” said Tom Libby, an analyst with R.L. Polk & Co. “If they aren’t going to do it when they have a huge product blitz, then when?”