FRANKFURT -- General Motors will drop its Chevrolet brand in Europe by the end of 2015, GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky said today.
The move is the latest effort by GM to turn around its European operations and to focus its resources on reviving the Opel brand.
Chevrolet will no longer have a mainstream presence in western and eastern Europe due to a challenging business model and the difficult economic situation in Europe, GM said in a statement.
"We believe this is a win for all of our brands here in Europe and around the globe as GM will benefit from a stronger Opel/Vauxhall," Girsky said. To pull Chevrolet out of Europe "will help us to accelerate progress in the region," he said.
Some of the brand's iconic models, such as the Corvette, will remain on sale in Europe, and the upmarket Cadillac marque is working on an expansion in the region in the next three years, GM said. Chevrolet sales will continue in Russia, where the brand ranks No. 5 in sales behind Lada, Renault, Kia and Hyundai.
Chevrolet's annual sales in Europe have remained low at about 200,000 since GM relaunched the brand in the region in 2005. Chevrolet focused on selling small cars in Europe such as the Aveo subcompact and Spark minicar built by GM Daewoo in Korea.
Chevrolets were supposed to compete at the budget end of the market with the likes of Hyundai, Skoda and Renault's Dacia. But the brand failed to make much headway as its largely rebadged Korean-made Daewoo cars struggled against rivals, whose models are customized for European markets.