Chevy's bru ha ha


Yesterday, The New York Times reported that a memo to Chevrolet employees in the Detroit headquarters suggested that they drop the use of the Chevy nickname in all casual and formal communications.

According to the New York Times, the memo directly stated: “We’d ask that whether you’re talking to a dealer, reviewing dealer
advertising, or speaking with friends and family, that you communicate
our brand as Chevrolet moving forward.” 

The memo was signed by Alan Batey, vice president for Chevrolet sales and service, and Jim Campbell, the G.M. division’s vice president for marketing.

Enter bru ha ha.

My sister called me today to talk about it, saying that everyone in every meeting only wanted to talk about the Chevy debacle.

The Chevrolet Facebook page logged comments like:

JP: If you want us to stop calling it ‘Chevy’ in favor of ‘Chevrolet’, then why is there still an entire section on your official website titled “Experience CHEVY” which reads “Welcome to Experience Chevy. Over the coming weeks this space will evolve into your one stop shop for all things Chevy…”?

JHJ: THE best cars and trucks….have a nickname that is loved….CHEVY!!! Down to earth, reliable transportation!!!!!

RL: So Chevrolet wants to stop using Chevy…..???? What’s the alternative???? Fisker

VB: Reminder to GM – “Chevy” is your official name for your Truck Division… oh no!!

WRC: But you gotta put the “Chevrolet” name plate on your models along with the “badging” and “bow-tie”! Keeping it real means a lot to Chevy owners!

JP: It is sad that some marketing moron has said that Chevy is no longer a good thing for the co. to use. Maybe the marketing geniuses should have closed dealerships that sold competitor vehicles rather than one that only sold GM products for years. But I guess the rocket scientist that run the co. are smarter than everyon…e else. Remember buy AMERICAN UAW vehicles nothing can compare to them.

PP: ‘chevy’s a part of me’

TS: Stop screwing around, CHEVROLET! My vintage keychain says CHEVY, because that’s what I drive!!!

RHD: Did your VP’s really send a memo saying to stop calling it a Chevy?! Bad move. I’ve driven Chevrolets exclusively for the last 20 years. I am a ‘Chevy Girl’. ‘Chevrolet Girl’ just doesn’t have the same ring… Coke is known internationally and in any language as Coca Cola. Chevy has the same vibe. Don’t make us sa…y Chevrolet.

GL: Chevy, Chevy, Chevy,Chevy,Chevy,Chevy, Chevy,Chevy, Chevy, Chevy, Chevy, Chevy, Chevy, Chevy, Chevy, Chevy,Chevy, Chevy, Chevy, Chevy, Chevy …

SC: Oh…I like calling it Chevy…Chevy is cool….

MN: Are you kidding me?

CF: The Chevy moniker is not a pejorative. Everyone at General Motors should embrace Chevy’s heritage and not some small-minded ambition by a bureaucrat. I often refer to my Chevelle as “Chevrolet,” but it will always be my “Chevy.” Get over trying to be Apple or Coca-Cola (or New Coke, for that matter) and just be what you are: an iconic, quality brand. Niggling over the Chevy moniker is pointless and fruitless. We love Chevy!

Needless to say, General Motors issued a clarification (dare I say retraction?) within 24 hours. They called the memo “poorly worded” and encouraged fans to continue using “Chevy.”

However, I have to say, I kind of understand what the Veeps at Chevy were saying. They’re really starting to launch a brand into new, non English speaking markets. And they’re trying to promote consistency. I can’t say they’re wrong in their strategy.

But putting a “poorly worded” memo in the hands of employees … not the best idea. You had to know someone in the media was going to get their hands on it, and, well, create a bru ha ha. That’s what we do.

How do you feel about “Chevy” vs. “Chevrolet”?

In case you want a little more fodder before entering the fray, here’s a video with Alan Batey taped today as he tries to explain what he and Campbell really meant by the memo:


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