FCB rebrands Daewoo as iconic Chevrolet

General Motors has appointed FCB's European network to handle the rebranding of its Daewoo range as the iconic US marque Chevrolet across the continent.

GM claims its research shows Chevrolet's name recognition in Europe is high, partly owing to the brand's frequent mention in songs such as American Pie and Little Deuce Coupe. The brand is also perceived as representing value-for-money, reliability and proven technology.

The FCB agency in London will produce the creative work for the assignment, following GM's decision to re-badge all Daewoos sold in the UK and Europe as the company's biggest US brand. The rebranding will be effective from 1 January next year.

GM is keen to eliminate the negative perceptions that have dogged Daewoo since GM rescued the Korean car manufacturer from bankruptcy three years ago. As a result, Daewoo's European sales fell by more than half over two years.

However, the change is set to cost GM millions of pounds - the company will have to sell 25,000 leftover Daewoos at heavily discounted prices before the end of the year.

The Daewoo model names, which include Matiz, Kalos, Nubira, Lacetti and Tacuma, will not be changed. Promotion for the models will continue to be handled by DFGW, the European network Buehler & Partners and TBWA\GGT.

The appointment complements FCB's existing work for GM in Portugal, Sweden and Finland.

Chevrolet in Europe will be positioned as an entry-level affordable car below GM's Vauxhall/Opel brand. This represents a change of strategy by GM, which has tried to sell Europeans unmodified US cars. Now the cars will be tailored for Europe.

A GM spokesman said FCB's role would be to create a campaign using TV commercials to develop Chevrolet's brand personality.

With the help of Chevrolet, now being developed as a global brand, GM is looking to improve on an unimpressive performance in Europe and build its market share to 12 per cent within five years.