Final Inspection

Chevy Shorthand: Like a Rock

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I’m sending $10 to Alan Batey, vice president for Chevy sales and service, as a down payment.

Not for a car, but in lieu of future abuses of the brand’s name.

The New York Times says a memo has been sent to Chevrolet employees asking them in the name of consistency to stop referring to the brand as Chevy.

The note reportedly is signed by Batey and Jim Campbell, General Motors vice president-marketing.

The Times reports a postscript to the memo says every time an employee uses “Chevy,” rather than Chevrolet, they are expected to put a quarter in the kitty.

I don’t work for GM, but I do write about Chevy, err, Chevrolet. And I have to say upfront a lifetime habit is going to take a while to break.

A positive nickname generally is considered a term of endearment, denoting a comfortable relationship or recognition of an icon.

Most marketers would kill for that opportunity. Products that have attained such status are burned into our American psyche: Micky D’s, Fed Ex, Big Brown, KFC, Beemer, Stang, Caddy, Vette.

Brand consistency is a good thing. But please, GM, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water as you struggle to find your new identity.

It’s enough to have blown through four marketing chiefs and three ad agencies in the last year. But messing with the Chevy name? Really?

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WardsAuto editors share insights and observations on the global auto industry.

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As Editorial Director, I oversee much of what goes into WardsAuto.com, enjoying a ringside seat that lets me observe up close just about every facet of the industry worldwide. I have covered the...

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