Chevrolet will drop Aveo and adopt a new name - Sonic - when its remodeled entry-level subcompact debuts next year.
Chevrolet and General Motors Co, officials have been considering a name change for the subcompact sedan since October. GM North America President Mark Reuss said confusion over how to pronounce “Aveo” had sparked the desire for a change.
“The Sonic represents a new beginning for Chevrolet in the small car segment and so we felt it was time to give it a new name,” Chris Perry, head of Chevrolet U.S. marketing, said in a statement today. “The new car is roomy, stylish and fun to drive, and Sonic is a youthful, energetic name that helps convey what this vehicle is about.”
According to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records, General Motors Co. filed for a trademark for the name “Chevrolet Sonic” on Oct. 5.
The redesigned Sonic, which will have hatchback and sedan versions, joins the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and the upcoming Chevrolet minicar in GM's small-car segment.
GM introduced the Aveo in the United States in 2004. The Sonic will be built in Orion Township, Mich. The plant had been scheduled to close until GM was granted concessions from the UAW that stemmed from the automaker's 2009 government-sponsored bankruptcy reorganization. GM will also build the forthcoming Buick Verano small car at the Michigan plant.
Sonic is the name of the third-largest dealership group in the United States, based on new-vehicle retail sales units. Sonic Automotive Inc., of Charlotte, N.C., has more than 100 dealerships selling 30 brands. It has Chevrolet dealerships in Alabama, Texas, South Carolina and Oklahoma.
GM is expected to show the production version of the Sonic at the Detroit Auto Show in January.
The 2011 Aveo starts at $12,685, including delivery.