31st Oct 2008, 14:57
Yes - I agree that public perception of Chevrolet is higher than that of similarly priced Perodua and Proton, but Hyundai and Kia have overtaken their old reputations very effectively in the last few years, with a great leap in technology and quality over their old models. They now have new-found respect from most of the general public who have actually dealt with the dealers and driven the cars.
Chevrolet, however, is yet to do this-maybe this will happen with the Volt or Cruze - but the Aveo has been panned as a rehash of the old Daewoo Kalos by most of the media - and it does show through with an awful two star NCAP rating and visible links with the Daewoo Kalos, which as you rightly say was a seven year old design anyway.
All run-out models are usually discounted to move old stock, but the Aveo is a "new" model in the UK and is already offered with a £1200 discount and 0% finance over 3 years!!
I think it is fair to say that where Skoda, Hyundai and Kia have moved forward massively in quality, technology and brand perception over the last few years, Chevrolet has yet to do this in the UK-and will need to offer class leading cars to do so.
I await the new models with interest, as I have always questioned the decision of Chevrolet launching the brand in the UK with old Daewoo models. I think this was a mistake - they should have waited until launching the Volt/Cruze/Beat to bring the brand to the UK, which would have made more sense and given the public something interesting and different. They are now swimming upstream against the publics' perception of failed Daewoo with Chevrolet - and the poor desirability and depreciation of the cars sold to now.
The new models will need to be modern (not rehashed), safe (at least 4*NCAP), efficient (under 120g/km), pleasing to own, good to drive and beat the competition on price, depreciation and running costs. When they do this, I will change my perception of Chevrolet being the poor relation of Skoda and Hyundai who both already offer cars that do.
How long will this be?
I think the "new" Aveo illustrates my points well as to why Chevrolet is not as good as Hyundai or Skoda in the UK at present. Fact!
1st Nov 2008, 07:55
I personally have a Chevrolet Lacetti (which incidentally has a 4 star crash rating according to ANCAP where it is sold as a Holden Viva), and I have no inhibitions about saying I drive a Chevrolet. It's clear GM had some input toward the Lacetti.
However I would not feel quite so happy about saying I drive a Hyundai/Skoda/Kia. Those brands have stigma attached to them, FACT. (why else would Hyundai advertise their cars as "A car first, a badge second"!!)
I am now looking more seriously at upgrading to a Chevrolet Cruze or the Vauxhall Astra... and Hyundai/Kia/Skoda don't come anywhere near my list of possibilities, simply because of their brand perception. (They may be OK for older people who don't care about image.)
1st Nov 2008, 11:22
Brand perception does fascinate me.
I have heard people say in the past that they would not buy Skoda, but my experience of owning Skoda now is that most people say "it's basically a VW but cheaper". If in any doubt how fine Skoda is now, go and drive the new twin boot Superb 2.0 CR TDI Elegance with the DSG 'box. It is a truly outstanding car and has beaten VW, Vauxhall, Ford etc in all the recent group tests. It is more like an A6 than Audi would like to admit - same wiring, engine etc etc but 20k all in!
Hyundai has impressed many with the I30, their five year warranty and the painless Getz ownership experience.
Kia has turned around from offering inferior products to nearing the class top with the Cee'd and ProCee'd and has gained more respect along the way. The new Soul looks good too, and most Kia models now come with a seven year full warranty in the UK!
With Chevrolet - what is the image? In the UK they are sold as "no nonsense" cheap cars and the advertising focuses on penny pinching and more kit for less money - hardly an image to pursue! They use the Matiz as the image while sponsoring the Paul O'Grady show!!! I honestly think that their brand image is not as strong as the others brands campaigns mentioned here:
Skoda - "manufacturers of happy drivers", great cake ads
Hyundai - good I30 campaign showing premium image
Kia - "designed to change your perception" showing Procee'd.
My own perception of brand value would be; best to worst; Skoda, Hyundai, Kia, Chevrolet.
In the UK, Chevrolet has much work to do, but I imagine there is a great difference in perception from country to country. In the UK some affluent people use Skoda as an anti-brand to prove they do not need to prove anything. As you say it may be an age thing - as you get older you are more defined by your achievements and personality than your car.
I would agree the Lacetti had GM input and is better than the Kalos.
If you have time to see them, I wonder what you would think of the current cars, as follows:
Skoda Superb (new model just launched) 2.0 CR TDI DSG Elegance
Hyundai I30 Estate 1.6 CRTD Premium
Kia Procee'd 2.0 Diesel Sport.
I know these are nothing like the price of the Kalos/Lacetti, but I have been genuinely surprised how excellent these cars are now.
Perhaps the Cruze/Beat etc may change my perception of Chevrolet - but perhaps the above cars may completely change your idea of other brands, and stop you worrying what everyone else thinks about the logo on your bonnet!
1st Nov 2008, 12:17
As a younger driver. My own perception of brand equity would be (in this particular group of manufacturers) :
1) Chevrolet, 2) Hyundai/Skoda (joint second) 3) Kia.
As I said, Hyundai, Kia and Skoda definitely have stigma attached to them, especially in the younger generations of drivers. Driving a Hyundai/Kia is a bit like walking round town/city with a Netto/Lidl/Aldi bag - you just don't do it (and you don't shop there either, LOL)
1st Nov 2008, 15:32
Interesting-as you say it may be an age thing - I am now 33 (!)
I have the same conversation with one of my colleagues who drives an Audi and would not be seen dead in any lesser marque - and cannot understand my reasoning that his 2007 £28k 2.0 TDI PD 138 car has the older technology to the new Skoda (which uses the better newer 2.0 CR TDI 168) and therefore is now outdated and inferior...!!!
I am absolutely anti-brand and have the opposite opinion to you - I have the money to buy Audi but hate being ostentatious and would rather have the Skoda. Likewise, I regularly use Marks & Spencer and Waitrose, but love to shop in Lidl and Aldi and happily tell the world how good they are.
What interests me is why people need to prove themselves to the general public and what that says about them!
My perception of Chevrolet is not based on what I think other people will think of me if I drive one, but more on how good the ownership experience actually is.
This is why I perceive Skoda, Hyundai and Kia to all be better brands than Chevrolet; regardless of what other people think!
I find this fascinating as I cannot understand why anyone cares what anyone else thinks. Chevrolet may appeal to younger drivers more than the other brands we are talking about - but this is a style/image thing and not anything to do with how good the car actually is.
Saying that though-have you ever seen a Kia Procee'd?? You can't ever say that anyone would ever choose a Chevrolet Lacetti over that - the Kia is far more stylish, attractive and youthful - especially in white with decent alloys. My younger colleagues adore these cars and laugh at the ugly Chevrolet.
Thanks for the comments.