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legal form Division / brand
founding November 3, 1911
Seat Detroit , Michigan , United States
United StatesUnited States 
Branch vehicle construction

Chevrolet (also colloquially: Chevy ) has been a brand since 1918 that belongs to the General Motors Group (GM). Before that, it was an independent automobile manufacturer.


Chevrolet Master de Luxe Convertible, 1933
Chevrolet 2-Door Sedan, 1938
Chevrolet Coupe, 1941
Chevrolet Two-Ten, 1953

The company's founder, Louis Chevrolet , was born on December 25, 1878 in La Chaux-de-Fonds , Switzerland , and was a racing driver . On November 3, 1911, he founded his company in order especially against the Ford Model T to compete. In 1912 the Classic Six was introduced, a car for five people that reached 105 km / h. GM bought the Chevrolet Motor Company on May 2, 1918.

In the 1920s, Chevrolet became the main competitor of the then market leader Ford. In 1927, Chevrolet took the top spot itself; also because Ford had stuck to the outdated Model T for far too long .

In the decades that followed, Chevrolet and Ford competed for first place in the US sales statistics. In most years, Chevrolet was the winner, although the cars on offer did not have any special technical features. The Standard and Master models show the product philosophy of the 1930s: simple, solid utility cars at an affordable price. There was no answer to the Ford V8 ; people thought their own six-cylinder was good enough - and rightly so, as the sales figures showed.

After the United States entered World War II , the manufacture of passenger cars ceased in 1942. For the next three years, Chevrolet only produced military vehicles. In 1945 car production began again with only slightly modernized pre-war models. In 1949 a new generation of models with a pontoon body appeared .

In 1953 the Chevrolet Corvette was introduced, the brand's first sports car. Initially, the car was not a sales success until it caught on and has become the most successful American sports car to this day.

Late - but just in time - Chevrolet followed the US trend towards the V8 engine. The eight-cylinder was introduced in autumn 1954 and was an immediate success. The Chevrolet Bel Air from model years 1955 to 1957 is still considered an ideal example of a US family car from the 1950s.

In the following years, the strong competitive pressure led to ever larger cars and ever more extreme body shapes. The highlight of this development were the models in 1959 and 1960 with their spectacular tail fins shaped into butterfly wings.

With the Chevrolet Corvair introduced at the end of 1959, Chevrolet offered an American alternative to the VW Beetle. It was the only US production car with an air-cooled rear engine. It should cause Chevrolet a lot of grief when its driving characteristics, which took some getting used to, were discussed.

In the 1960s, Chevrolet became driven. Arch-rival Ford introduced several new models and opened up new market segments. Chevrolet followed only reluctantly and with some years of delay. The compact Ford Falcon from 1959 was followed by the Chevrolet Nova (1961), the mid-range Ford Fairlane from 1961 by the Chevrolet Chevelle (1963) and the sports coupé Ford Mustang from 1964 by the Chevrolet Camaro (1966). In the latter case, the delay was particularly embarrassing because the Mustang was a huge hit in its early years and Chevrolet had nothing to counter it.

The 1970s were shaped by the 1973 oil crisis . Gasoline became scarcer and more expensive in the United States too. The demand for smaller cars grew; Chevrolet added the Vega and Chevette models , which were significantly smaller than the cars previously offered.

There were major changes from 1979 to 1982: Chevrolet introduced several new model series with front-wheel drive , following a development that had been taking place in Europe since the 1960s. The models Citation , Cavalier and Celebrity were introduced in quick succession . Only the big cars ( Caprice ) and the sporty models (Camaro, Corvette) kept rear-wheel drive.

During this time the competitive pressure grew from the Japanese manufacturers, who sold their vehicles with great success in the USA. In cooperation with Toyota, Chevrolet built a new factory in California that not only produced the Toyota Corolla , but also a sister model for Chevrolet. This was given the traditional name Nova .

As a further measure, General Motors introduced the brands Geo and Saturn in 1988 and 1990 in order to be able to compete with inexpensive vehicles against importers. With that, Chevrolet lost its decade-long position as the cheapest brand in the General Motors group. The two new brands lasted for a while, but could not establish themselves in the long run. Since the end of Saturn in 2009, Chevrolet has been General Motors' entry-level brand again.

Since the 1980s, demand in North America has shifted significantly in the direction of light commercial vehicles. The Transporter Express and Astro , the Colorado and Silverado pickups and the Blazer and Tahoe SUVs sell in large numbers and are therefore of great importance to the success of Chevrolet. Accordingly, the proportion of purely passenger cars has decreased significantly over the past 30 years.

From 2005 to 2015 vehicles were offered on the European market as Chevrolet , which were previously sold under the brand name Daewoo . Apart from the Chevrolet logo, the vehicles were initially still based on Daewoo technology. In the period that followed, these models, as well as the American Chevrolet models, were gradually replaced by new models developed in the USA, Germany and South Korea, which are now offered worldwide in largely identical forms. Since 2011 the name Daewoo has also disappeared in South Korea.

On December 5, 2013, Chevrolet announced that it would largely withdraw from the Western European market by the end of 2015, which in Germany already happened in mid-2014. This should strengthen the Opel brand in the continental European market. The sports models Camaro and Corvette from the USA will remain on offer there after 2015.


Until the restructuring of the group in 2009, GM used the Chevrolet brand for regionally very different model ranges, in which there were often parallel developments, different names of the same models or badge engineering of older Opel models. Since 2009, the brand has increasingly had a globally standardized range of models in which only a few models are offered in certain markets. Only in South America are there a number of local specialties. At the same time, the South Korean brand GM Daewoo was completely integrated and its name was deleted.

«  Before - Timeline of global Chevrolet car models since 2009
Type 2000s 2010s 2020s
9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0
Microcar Matiz Spark Spark
Small car Aveo Aveo / Sonic
Compact class Cruze Cruze
Middle class Malibu Malibu Malibu Malibu
Full-size cars impala impala impala
Lumina SS
Sports car Camaro 5th generation Camaro 6th generation
Corvette C6 Corvette C7 Corvette C8
Compact van Orlando
Sport utility vehicle Trax
Equinox Equinox
traverse traverse
  • Acquired models from Chevrolet USA
  • Models adopted from GM Daewoo
  • Trucks in North America

    As trucks in North American nomenclature all SUVs, vans and commercial vehicles apply. These are not yet offered outside of the US.

    Timeline of Chevrolet Models (Trucks) in the United States from 1950 to 1979 - next  »
    Type 1950s 1960s 1970s
    0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9
    SUVs K5 blazer K5 blazer
    Suburban Suburban Suburban Suburban Suburban
    Pick-ups LUV
    Chevrolet Advance Design Chevrolet Task Force C / K C / K C / K
    El Camino El Camino El Camino El Camino El Camino
    Vans Van Van
    Greenbrier Beauville
    «  Before - Timeline of Chevrolet Models (Trucks) in the United States since 1980
    Type 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s
    0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th
    SUV traverse
    S-10 blazer blazer
    TrailBlazer TrailBlazer
    K5 blazer blazer Tahoe Tahoe Tahoe
    Suburban Suburban Suburban Suburban
    Pick-ups LUV S-10 S-10 Colorado
    C / K C / K Silverado Silverado
    El Camino Avalanche Avalanche
    Vans Lumina APV Venture Uplander
    Vans Astro Astro City Express
    Van express

    Historic car models

    North America

    Timeline of Chevrolet Car Models in the United States from 1950 to 1979 - next  »
    Type 1950s 1960s 1970s
    0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9
    Small car Vega
    Compact class Corvair Corvair
    Chevy II / Nova nova nova nova
    Middle class Chevelle / Malibu Chevelle / Malibu Malibu
    Monte Carlo Monte Carlo Monte Carlo
    Full-size cars Special Special 150 One-fifty Del Ray
    Deluxe Deluxe 210 Two-ten Biscayne / Brookwood
    Bel Air Bel Air Bel Air Bel Air Bel Air
    impala impala impala impala impala
    Nomad Nomad Caprice Caprice Caprice
    Sports car Camaro Camaro
    Corvette C1 Corvette C2 Corvette C3
    «  Previous - timeline of Chevrolet and geo-car models in the United States 1980 to 2009 - next  »
    Geo as its own brand for Japanese imports / JV
    Type 1980s 1990s 2000s
    0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9
    Small car sprint Geo Metro Geo Metro metro Aveo
    Compact class Chevette
    Spectrum Geo Spectrum Geo Storm
    nova Geo Prizm Geo Prizm Prizm Cobalt
    Citation HHR
    Monza Cavalier Cavalier Cavalier
    Middle class Malibu Corsica / Beretta Malibu Malibu Malibu
    Monte Carlo Monte Carlo Monte Carlo
    Celebrity Lumina Lumina
    Full-size cars Caprice Caprice
    impala Impala SS impala impala
    Sports car Camaro Camaro Camaro Camaro
    Corvette C3 Corvette C4 Corvette C5 Corvette C6
    Compact SUV Geo tracker tracker tracker Equinox
  • Rebadged Toyota or model manufactured in the joint NUMMI plant
  • Rebadged Isuzu
  • Rebadged Suzuki
  • from Daewoo Motors
  • Europe

    Timeline of Daewoo and European Chevrolet models from 1982 to 2009 - next  »
    Type From 1982 as Daewoo by Daewoo Motors From 2001 as Daewoo from GM Daewoo From 2005 in Europe as Chevrolet , in South Korea as  Daewoo
    80s 90s 2000s
    2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9
    Microcar Tico / Fino
    Matiz I Matiz I Matiz II
    Small car Kalos Kalos Aveo / Gentra
    Compact class Maepsy Racer / LeMans Nexia / Cielo Lanos Lacetti Lacetti
    Lower middle class Nubira Nubira Cruze / Lacetti premiere
    Middle class Espero Leganza Magnus / Evanda Evanda Epica / Tosca
    Royale Prince / Brougham / Super Salon
    upper middle class Imperial Arcadia
    Chairman Statesman Veritas
    Compact van Rezzo / Tacuma Rezzo / Tacuma
    SUV Musso Captiva / Windstorm
    Off-road vehicle Korando
    Roadster G2X
    Vans Damas / Labo
  • License replica or further development of an Opel
  • Suzuki marketed as "Daewoo" , or further development of a Suzuki
  • Honda marketed in South Korea as "Daewoo"
  • SsangYong marketed in South Korea as "Daewoo" (1997-2004 part of Daewoo)
  • GM model marketed in South Korea as "Daewoo" ( Buick , Holden or Saturn )
  • Models for other markets (largely historical)

    Picture gallery

    See also


    • Standard Catalog of Chevrolet 1912-2003 , Krause Publications, 2003, ISBN 0-87349-680-9
    • Martin Sinzig: '' Louis Chevrolet - The man who gave the Chevy its name ''; Verlag Huber Frauenfeld (Switzerland), ISBN 978-3-7193-1566-5
    • Beverly Rae Kimes (Editor) and Henry Austin Clark Jr .: The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805–1942. 2nd edition, Krause Publications, Iola WI 54990, USA (1985), ISBN 0-87341-111-0 (English)
    • Georgano, GN (Ed.): Complete Encyclopedia of Motorcars, 1885 to the Present ; Dutton Press, New York, 2nd edition (hardcover) 1973, ISBN 0-525-08351-0 (English)
    • Kimes, Beverly Rae: Pioneers, Engineers, and Scoundrels: The Dawn of the Automobile in America ; Editor SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Permissions, Warrendale PA (2005), ISBN 0-7680-1431-X (English)
    • Madsen, Axel: The Deal Maker: How William C. Durant made General Motors. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., ISBN 0-471-39523-4 (pbck) (English)
    • Alfred P. Sloan: My years with General Motors. 2nd edition (Sept. 1965), Verlag Moderne Industrie (German licensed edition of My Years With General Motors. Doubleday & Co., Garden City NY (USA))
    • Griffith Borgeson: The Golden Age of the American Racing Car. 2nd edition (1998), publisher SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), Warrendale PA, ISBN 0-7680-0023-8 (English)

    Web links

    Commons : Chevrolet  - Collection of Images

    Individual evidence

    1. ^ Daniel F. Spulber (Ed.): Famous Fables of Economics: Myths of Market Failures . Wiley, Malden, MA 2001, ISBN 0-631-22675-3 , pp. 178 (English, 320 pp., Limited preview in Google Book Search).
    2. General Motors pulls Opel competitor Chevrolet out of Europe Der Spiegel. Retrieved September 5, 2014