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by Tim Beissmann

Chevrolet today responded to public uproar over its internal employee memo encouraging the use of the name “Chevrolet” rather than “Chevy”, admitting that it was “poorly worded”.

The original debate started on Tuesday in the US when The New York Times published a message signed off by ex-Holden boss, now vice president for Chevrolet sales and service, Alan Batey, and GM vice president for marketing, Jim Campbell.

The memo emphasised the importance of delivering a consistent brand message and encouraged employees at the company’s Detroit head office to stop using the name Chevy.

“We’d ask that whether you’re talking to a dealer, reviewing dealer advertising, or speaking with friends and family, that you communicate our brand as Chevrolet moving forward,” the memo read.

“When you look at the most recognised brands throughout the world, such as Coke or Apple for instance, one of the things they all focus on is the consistency of their branding. Why is this consistency so important? The more consistent a brand becomes, the more prominent and recognisable it is with the consumer.”

Ironically, the two examples used, Coke and Apple, are both used more sparingly by those corporations, who prefer Coca-Cola and, in Apple’s case, the specific product names such as iPod or iPhone.

But following days of obvious uproar from fans, Chevrolet today released a statement encouraging the use of the Chevy name among customers and followers of the brand.

“Today’s emotional debate over a poorly worded memo on our use of the Chevrolet brand is a good reminder of how passionately people feel about Chevrolet.  It is a passion we share and one we do not take for granted.

“We love Chevy.  In no way are we discouraging customers or fans from using the name.  We deeply appreciate the emotional connections that millions of people have for Chevrolet and its products.

“In global markets, we are establishing a significant presence for Chevrolet, and need to move toward a consistent brand name for advertising and marketing purposes.  The memo in question was one step in that process.

“We hope people around the world will continue to fall in love with Chevrolets and smile when they call their favourite car, truck or crossover a ‘Chevy’,” the statement read.

It did not, however, retreat on the earlier memo for employees to stop using the name Chevy.




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