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Old 28th June 2012, 06:51   #1
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Default Finally! Chevrolet to phase out the Optra, Aveo and U-VA

In an attempt to improve its poor sales & sluggish product portfolio, Chevrolet has announced that at least three of its old laggards will be phased out. The replacement models have been readied as well with a clear strategy to move into a more diesel-based portfolio for India.

The Aveo U-VA hatchback, Aveo sedan and Optra sedan will be the casualties. All three have been market duds and recorded disappointing sales in the first half of 2012 (See table here). Things haven't been much different for the trio in the recent handful of years either.

The Replacements

The Sail hatchback, one of the first vehicles manufactured by GM under their partnership with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) China, will replace the Aveo U-VA. It will face fierce competition in the B2 hatch space against the likes of Maruti Swift, Ford Figo, Honda Brio and Hyundai i20. Chevrolet will expect it to put up a stronger fight and clock up higher volumes than the Aveo U-VA did. Likewise, the Sail sedan will replace the Aveo sedan with similar expectations.

Meanwhile, the production of the Optra sedan has already been dicontinued. Once a competent sedan, Chevrolet has been flogging this dead horse for a while now as is evident in its rapidly declining sales, culminating in a dismal month in May 2012 when it sold only 3 units. Honestly, the Optra is way past its sell-by date and doesn't offer the value proposition that it did in year 2004.

Diesel Calling

Having clearly realised the higher market demand for diesel cars, it looks like Chevrolet will make the much required yet much awaited shift to a diesel-dominated portfolio by launching a series of vehicles later this year.

Among this lot will be the diesel versions of the Sail hatchback, Sail sedan and Enjoy MPV. The latter will be expected to compete in the ever growing UV segment where Tavera sales have been on a free fall. The Sail models will also be available in petrol versions.

From its joint initiative with Fiat, Chevrolet has access to the famed 1.3L turbo-charged diesel engine. Interestingly, Chevrolet also sells a 3-cylinder variant of the same engine in India (currently powering the Beat hatchback only).

Revamp

Along with the new launches, Chevrolet are also rolling out upgraded versions of their existing products. Recent launches have featured the 2012 Cruze sedan with a revised engine and the upgraded Captiva 2.2 AT SUV. Finally, a more fuel-efficient version of the Spark hatchback should also be launched by the year-end.

Conclusion

It is certainly looking desperate for GM India but their dismal performance in the first half of 2012 might just be wakeup call they needed to get their act together. The decision to revamp the portfolio is obviously a positive move, with the petrol-diesel price gap widening ever so frequently. With these vehicles expected to hit the roads in and around the Diwali festivities, Chevrolet will hope for all of Goddess Laksmi’s blessings to see them through.

Last edited by GTO : 29th June 2012 at 12:36. Reason: Adding Team-BHP's Own Article to the Opening Post
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Old 28th June 2012, 07:41   #2
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Default re: Finally! Chevrolet to phase out Optra, Aveo and U-VA

Now GM would be offering discounted schemes to clear off remaining stocks as it did for Corsa and Corsa Sail in 2005 and there would be buyers looking for these. Used Optra and Aveo prices would become more attractive now even Optra Diesels.
But once phased out I doubt if GM would support these models with parts and service.
But we could get to see some good cars soon and if priced rightly
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Old 28th June 2012, 07:59   #3
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Smile re: Finally! Chevrolet to phase out Optra, Aveo and U-VA

GM is reportedly going to replace the U-Va with U-Va Sail and the Aveo with Sail sedan. Although there is no official replacement for the Optra it seem GM is going to position the MUV Enjoy in that price bracket.

I hope GM does not rest on the Beat sales (read Diesel) only and brings in some good cars in the near future.

GM India to phase out Aveo, mulls similar step with Optra - The Economic Times

Last edited by ghodlur : 28th June 2012 at 08:01.
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Old 28th June 2012, 08:27   #4
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Congrats Chevy India, for finally waking up and doing what you should've done a year or two ago. Some might say its better late than never, but I feel its already too late. The brand has lost its glory atleast in India. I say start over again with a top down approach. Bring in your best sedans n esp. SUVs.
I say bring in the Camaro as well.

Last edited by GTO : 29th June 2012 at 15:28. Reason: STRICTLY no SMS language on Team-BHP please
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Old 28th June 2012, 08:29   #5
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Default re: Finally! Chevrolet to phase out Optra, Aveo and U-VA

So, will this allow enough room for GM to introduce the Cruze hatch?

Apparently there is a 1.7Ltr 120 bhp diesel with GM which they can fit in on to this and that would ensure enough differentiation from the saloon and also lower the costs.

The SAIC models are fine for the volume end of the market, but they definitely need to get some more premium models in the space vacated by the outgoing Optra.
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Old 28th June 2012, 08:40   #6
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Default re: Finally! Chevrolet to phase out Optra, Aveo and U-VA

Introduction of Sail is welcome in lieu of Aveo, but what is going to replace Optra? Though it has dated interiors, it has a stonker of an engine that would put other cars of its segment biting its dust and has great roomy interiors.
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Old 28th June 2012, 09:24   #7
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Default re: Finally! Chevrolet to phase out Optra, Aveo and U-VA

Don't think GM will be too bothered about replacing Optra right now.

Successful launch of the Sail twins and the MUV will eat up GM's energies the coming year. Read that with the intense competition in the Optra segment. They obviously won't love to be in the shoes of Ford with its new Fiesta.
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Old 28th June 2012, 09:31   #8
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Default re: Finally! Chevrolet to phase out Optra, Aveo and U-VA

Chevy came into India and floundered almost immediately.

I think the Karl Slym years really helped to revamp the brand and launch all sorts of things calculated to appeal to the Indian masses. He did succeed in earning people's trust again with all those ads about the Chevrolet Promise etc - though I clearly remember being highly skeptical about those ads at the time - indeed as usual I even posted my views on the same on our Forum.

However, that said and done, once he moved out, they seem to have lost their way again. Their product- time to market is really poor, given that they have been in India more than 10 years now and have had varied experiences here, they should be on top of their game!

Their marketing/ product honchos dont seem to have quite got their product portfolio tweaked well enough for us Indians.

What they badly required to do two years ago, they are doing now. That Aveo, U VA etc were losing sheen almost at the time they were launched itself!

Product Portfolio suggested along with some queries for discussion:
1. A Premium Sedan - the Cruze that they have will be fine.
2. A business executive sedan - in lieu of the Optra / maybe they should consider one of those nice spacious HOLDEN Models from Oz.
3. A reasonable SUV they already have - the Captiva is a good vehicle no doubt, though a tad overpriced for India.
4. They will need the TrailBlazer too as per their plans. Hope that happens soon.Only thing, this Trailblazer will literally go and eat up market share from the Captiva itself as well.
5. At the bottom end they ve got the Beat which is a good little thing in its way.
6. They really badly need a Premium Hatchback car - so why not a Vauxhall Astra Hatch? or a Zafira Hatch?
7. Im glad they will introduce the Chevy Sail - will they however introduce it in both Sedan and Hatch form to literally replace the Aveo and U VA?
8. Im also glad they are working on the people mover segment which is a large gap in their armoury.

Perhaps they can think of revamping themselves with the Opel Brand? But unfortunately the Opel Brand has completely lost its sheen here in India and they will have a long and expensive brand build to go through to make it relevant again!
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Old 28th June 2012, 10:00   #9
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Default re: Finally! Chevrolet to phase out Optra, Aveo and U-VA

Looking at the bright side, the optra magnum diesel will be an even more attractive buy after the discounts .

However I really don't understand how Chevy is planning on making a revival in the Uva and the aveo segment with the sail and sail sedan. Chevy was able to succeed in the D1 segment because it offered much more than what the competition did at a lower price point. And I don't see the sail doing anything as such except maybe being cheaper than the rest.
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Old 28th June 2012, 10:46   #10
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Default re: Finally! Chevrolet to phase out Optra, Aveo and U-VA

This news is certainly a mixed bag. The Aveo twins were a dud from the day go. Though good cars by themselves, lack of diesel heart was suicidal for these ample sized cars. Now they get the Sail twins, but where is the midsized diesel engine in their bag?

Though not in the other case, all said and done Optra in its diesel form is a great car. Instead of exiting fully from that space, they could have given another facelift and pushed it well. Sure would find many takers.

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Old 28th June 2012, 11:24   #11
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Default re: Finally! Chevrolet to phase out Optra, Aveo and U-VA

Quote:
Originally Posted by girishglg View Post
Though not in the other case, all said and done Optra in its diesel form is a great car. Instead of exiting fully from that space, they could have given another facelift and pushed it well. Sure would find many takers.
I feel there is a certain time bracket inside which you need to freshen things up and come out with a facelift. That time period for the optra has got over a long time ago. I am not too sure if a facelift will do any good now since the existence of the car itself has been deleted from most buyer's mind. The competition has moved ahead by leaps and bounds and left the optra far behind. The only way forward is to bring in a totally new car and make sure to invest in some advertising campaigns along with it.
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Old 28th June 2012, 14:29   #12
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Default re: Finally! Chevrolet to phase out Optra, Aveo and U-VA

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
I feel there is a certain time bracket inside which you need to freshen things up and come out with a facelift.
Exactly. The Optra brand is dead now and any replacement, if it happens will have to ride on a new brand. Which entails bigger ad spends and squeeze on margins. True for all auto companies which are killing their brands (Like MS with its Zen )
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Old 28th June 2012, 14:48   #13
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Default re: Finally! Chevrolet to phase out Optra, Aveo and U-VA

Aveo and UVA should have been phased out 2 years ago! Both were market duds from the word go! Bollywood endorsements didnt help as well!
When I test drove the optra 3 months ago, I felt it was really outdated, It had a 6 cd changer! I mean GM did not even take efforts to update the ICE, which should be quite easy to do actually! The car felt like the Logan of the C2 / D1 segment, fundamentally good, but really outdated. It had a stonker of an engine though!
On the other hand, I dont know if the sail twins are the right products. They seem very etios-like and with a very low brand equity for chevy, I dont know if customers will prefer these over the swift/etios. They should have ideally launched some opel cars under chevy, which have at least better quality and even if they were in the i20/polo segment it would have had some thing to talk about.
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Old 28th June 2012, 15:04   #14
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Default Re: Finally! Chevrolet to phase out Optra, Aveo and U-VA

Why replace Optra ?
Give it some serious and up to date style changes inside out. Update the equipment list by current standards. Replace the Optra name with a different title. A good petrol engine and the existing tcdi engine with tweaks to aid driveability.
Advertise it as an 'all new car'
You have a vento/verna/rapid beater at hands
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Old 28th June 2012, 16:10   #15
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Default Re: Finally! Chevrolet to phase out Optra, Aveo and U-VA

Well, I have cently acquainted myself to the 'Chevrolet' world. The last acquisition of our family in the garage is a Chevy Cruze LTZ A/T (pre-facelift). Well, after 5000kms in this car in the span of 3 months and an encounter with the A.S.S twice in this span (1000kms check-up & 5000kms first servicing), I can say that this company has a few things going for itself. The product portfolio is undergoing a major revamp and that is a very good thing. I remember walking into the showroom to see the dated looking optra and the dud spark parked out there.

In my opinion, the Sail twins are something to look out for, the overall impression of that car is quite promising. I say this as I had spotted one of the test mules of the hatch version. Link: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post2790571

As I have observed on the test mule, the following are my conclusions about the car,

Seems like Chevrolet is taking inspiration from the initial success story the Cruze wrote - packed and loaded with features, funky interior layout and a very impressive diesel engine under the hood (Read: The Indian national engine, the 1.3 MJD), all this with a bit of interior quality compromise. Chevy has never been shy of the horsepowers (Cruze began with 150bhp which is now bumped up to a staggering 164bhp), we can expect a healthy 90bhp state of tune for the hatch.

Chevy just needs to get their act together through this whole process and pick up the A.S.S a couple of notches. It's just a matter of time to see what happens with this car company now, from where I see it, it does seem uphill.

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