GENEVA -- Chevrolet Europe plans a significant increase in its dealer network to help maintain its rapid growth.
The brand will add as many as 150 dealers in Russia, Turkey and central and eastern Europe within five years. Chevrolet also wants more dealers in western Europe's 20 largest metropolitan areas.
"We will look at the existing GM network and see if there are opportunities for dealers to take on a Chevrolet (brand)," Wayne Brannon, Chevrolet Europe's executive director, told Automotive News Europe last month at the Geneva auto show.
Chevrolet Europe's first step will be to add 80 dealers this year, most of them in Russia, Romania and Turkey. The brand will look to establish stand-alone dealerships or to share showrooms with other GM brands. Together with Opel/Vauxhall and Saab, Chevrolet Europe is part of General Motors Europe.
Zurich-based Chevrolet Europe was formed in January 2005 to sell cars built by GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co., a Korean subsidiary of GM. Previously, GM Daewoo's cars were marketed under the Daewoo brand.
At the end of 2005, Chevrolet Europe had 1,904 dealers in its retail network. About 750 were combined with another GM brand, and about 300 were paired with a non-GM brand. The remaining points were stand-alone Chevrolet dealerships.
Chevrolet has 380 dealers in eastern and central Europe. About 300 of those are multibrand dealers.
Brannon said that as Chevrolet continues its growth, there is room for expansion. Chevrolet Europe sold 240,500 units in 2005, he said. It was the first time Chevrolet had exceeded a 1 percent market share in Europe.
Brannon said Chevrolet hopes for a "double-digit" increase in sales again this year, helped by the launches of the Captiva medium SUV, the Aveo small car and the Epica large sedan.
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