One co-founder, Louis Chevrolet, was a racing driver, born on December 25, 1878 in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland. The other co-founder, William C. Durant, had been forced out of GM in 1910 and wanted to use Louis Chevrolet's designs to rebuild his own reputation as a force in the automobile industry.
On November 3, 1911, Chevrolet entered the automobile market to compete with the Ford Model T. A year later (1912), the 'Classic Six' was introduced. The 'Classic Six' was a 5-passenger touring sedan equipped with a 299 cubic inch (4.9 L), 6 cylinder engine capable of taking the car to a top speed of 15 miles per hour (5 km/h).
In 1916, Chevrolet was profitable enough to allow Durant to buy a majority of shares in GM. After the deal was complete in 1917, Durant was president of General Motors, and Chevrolet was merged into GM, becoming a separate division.
Master, A model name of Chevrolet used in the 1930's. It was the deluxe version Chevy with knee action front suspension. In 1936 the master series was longer than the standard series Chevrolet.
Chevrolet made a horrible impression on the American automobile market during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1963, one out of every ten cars sold in the United States was a Chevrolet. 1
The Suburban also known as the Suburban Carryall, was introduced in 1936 and remains in production today, making it the longest running production truck from Chevrolet.
Chevrolet outside North America
In markets outside North America, the Chevrolet brand name has been used on other GM models.
In Brazil, the Chevrolet Opala was based on the German Opel Rekord from the late 1960s, continuing in production until the early 1990s, when it was replaced by a version of the Opel Omega. Other smaller Chevrolets in Brazil, such as the Kadett and Monza, were based on the Opel Kadett and Ascona respectively. Chevrolet's product line-up in Brazil now comprises some exclusive designs like the Corsa "B" based Celta sold in Argentina under the Suzuki brand, the Astra, and a brand new, Brazilian designed Vectra based on the current Opel Astra, while the current Corsa is built and the Omega name is now used on the Holden Commodore. Utility and four wheel drive vehicles line-up includes the S10 and the Blazer. From the 1960s to the mid 1980s, there was also a 4x4 called the Veraneio.
In Argentina (whose factory was opened in Rosario in 1995), the models are the same Opels made in Brazil, specially the Corsa. Chevrolet had had presence in Argentina since the 1960's where it locally produced the Chevy II (sold in Argentina as the Chevrolet 400 or Chevy), but it stopped its operations in 1981, due to high inflation.
In Mexico, these Opel-sourced Chevrolet models are sold alongside US models.
In South Africa, Chevrolet was GM's main brand name until 1982. In the 1960s, the advertising jingle braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet came to epitomise the ideal lifestyle of white male South Africans. Originally, Chevrolets were CKD kits of American Chevys assembled in their plant in Port Elizabeth. However, since South Africa was RHD and the US was LHD, plus encouragement by the South African government to use local content, Chevrolets such as the Biscayne were eventually made entirely in South Africa. By the 1970s, South African Chevrolets like the Kommando and Constantia were based on Australian Holden models like the Kingswood, while the Firenza was based on the Vauxhall Viva. The Chevrolet Nomad sold in South Africa was entirely different from the Nomad sold in America - whereas the American Nomad was originally conceived as a wagon version of the Corvette and eventually became the wagon version of the Bel Air, the South African Nomad was an SUV of truck proportions before SUVs were popular.
However, these were replaced by Opel models like the Rekord, Commodore, and Senator, and in 1982, the Chevrolet brand name was dropped in favour of Opel. Because of the political climate at the time, GM decided to disinvest from South Africa, and a local group eventually bought out GM's South African operations (including the Port Elizabeth plant) and renamed the company as the Delta Motors Corporation. They concentrated heavily on Opels, Isuzus, and Suzukis. However, thanks to an improved political climate in the 1990s, GM decided to reenter South Africa, eventually buying out the whole of Delta Motors Corporation. Even more news arrived for Chevrolet. In 2001, the Chevrolet name made a comeback, used on the Lumina, a rebadged Holden Commodore, and later on, on the Daewoo range of cars. Current Chevrolets include the Spark (a rebadged Daewoo Matiz), Aveo, Optra, the Lumina (including a pickup version), and the Vivant, an MPV that is really a renamed version of the Daewoo Tacuma.
Europe and Asia
In 2005 models from Daewoo were rebranded as Chevrolet in Europe, although the Daewoo name will be retained in South Korea, Vietnam and some other world markets. In the rest of the world, most Daewoo models wore the Chevrolet badge since 2003. Exceptions include the use of the Suzuki badge in the US and Canada, the Pontiac badge in Canada, and the Buick badge in China for certain Daewoo models.
The Holden Commodore is badged as the Chevrolet Lumina in Thailand and the Middle East, as well as South Africa. One of the songs by The Fine Young Cannibals is used in all UK Chevrolet TV Commercials.
- Astro (1985 - 2005)
- Avalanche (2002 - Current)
- Aveo (2003 - Current, rebadged Daewoo Kalos)
- Bel Air (1950 - 1976)
- Beretta (1987 - 1996)
- Biscayne (1958 - 1972)
- Blazer (1969 - 2005)
- Camaro (1967 - 2002)
- Caprice (1965 - 1996)
- Cavalier (1981- 2004)
- Celta (2000 - Current)
- Celebrity (1981 - 1990)
- Chevelle (1964 - 1977)
- Chevette (1975 - 1987)
- Chevrolet C/K
- Chevrolet K5 Blazer
- Chevrolet S-10 Blazer
- Citation (1980 - 1985)
- Cobalt (2004 - Current)
- Colorado (2004 - Current)
- Corsica (1987 - 1996)
- Corvair (1960 - 1969)
- Corvette (1953 - Current)
- Del Ray (1958 only)
- El Camino (1959 - 1987)
- Epica (Ex-Daewoo model aka Evanda)
- Equinox (2004 - Current)
- Express (1996 - Current)
- Forester (rebadged Subaru Forester)
- HHR (2006 - Current)
- Impala (1958 - 1985, 1994 - 1996, 2000 - Current)
- Kalos (2005 - Current, rebadged Daewoo Kalos)
- Lacetti (2005 - Current, rebadged Daewoo Nubira)
- Lumina (1989 - 2001)
- Lumina APV (1989 - 1996)
- LUV (1972 - 1982, rebadged Isuzu truck)
- Malibu (1964 - 1983, 1997 - Current)
- Matiz (2005 - Current, rebadged Daewoo Matiz)
- Metro (1998 - 2001, rebadged Suzuki Swift)
- Monte Carlo (1970 - 1988, 1995 - Current)
- Monza (1975 - 1980)
- Niva (2002 - Current)
- Nova (1962 - 1979, 1985 - 1988)
- Optra (2004 - Current, rebadged Daewoo Nubira)
- P-Chassis (1949- 1999)
- Prizm (1998 - 2002, rebadged Toyota Corolla)
- Silverado (1999 - Current)
- Spectrum (1985 - 1988, rebadged Isuzu Gemini)
- Sprint (1985 - 1988, rebadged Suzuki Swift)
- SSR (2004 - Current)
- Styleline(1949 - 1952)
- Suburban (1936 - Current)
- S-10 (1982 - 2003)
- Tacuma (Ex-Daewoo model, from 2005, also known in Europe as the Rezzo)
- Tahoe (1994 - Current)
- TrailBlazer (2002 - Current)
- Tracker (1998 - 2004, rebadged Suzuki Vitara)
- Uplander (2005 - Current)
- W4500 (and others in the series)
- Vega (1970 - 1977)
- Venture (1997 - 2004)
- Viva (2004 - Current, only sold in Russia)
Note 1: Gunnell, John, Editor (1987). The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975, Kraus Publications. ISBN 0-87341-096-3. pp. 134-183.
- Chevrolet Homepage
- Chevrolet United Kingdom
- Chevrolet Hall - Convention center in Brazil.
- Autoguidewiki - Chevrolet
- Category at ODP
- 1912-1914 Vintage Chevrolet Index Page
- 1912-1914 Vintage Chevrolet Index Page
- Cruising Chevrolet History
- Detroit News bio of W.C. Durant