Chevrolet cars have been rolling off the assembly line since 1911. Chevrolet is one of America's oldest car manufacturers, now a part of General Motors (GM). After GM's 2009 bankruptcy, Chevrolet was one of the four surviving brands (along with Cadillac, Buick, and GMC). For the 2010 model year, Chevrolet vehicles were built at 14 of GM's 92 plants worldwide. Chevrolet boasts GM's largest, and most varied product line, with over 20 different models to choose from. These range from cars like the economical Aveo, to the high-performance Corvette, to trucks like the Silverado and Avalanche, and SUVs to crossovers like the Equinox, Tahoe and Suburban. This wide product array makes Chevrolet the most diverse American car manufacturer today. The bulk of Chevrolet cars are built in the U.S., but there are also plants, including:
- Arlington Assembly, of Arlington, Texas builds the Suburban and Tahoe line of SUVs.
- The Bogotá plant, in Bogotá, Colombia, and the Daewoo Incheon Motor company plant in Incheon, South Korea build the fuel-efficient Chevrolet Aveo hatchback and sedan.
- The Bowling Green Assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky builds all four Corvette models (coupe, convertible, Z06 and ZR1)
- The CAMI Automotive plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada builds the hot-selling CUV, the Chevrolet Equinox
- The Fairfax II plant in Fairfax, Kansas handles production of the popular Malibu sedan, and some production of the Equinox
- The Fort Wayne Assembly plant in Roanoke, Indiana handles production of the Chevrolet Silverado line of trucks
- The Flint Truck Assembly plant in Flint, Michigan builds heavy duty trucks for Chevrolet
- Lordstown Assembly, in Lordstown, Ohio is the site of Chevy Cobalt production
- Orion Assembly, of Orion Township, Michigan also builds the new Malibu
- Oshawa Car Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada is where the Chevrolet Impala is produced, as well as the all new Camaro
- A GM facility in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico handles production of the retro-styled HHR
- Shreveport Operations, in Shreveport, Louisiana produces the Chrvrolet Colorado line of small trucks
- Silao Assembly of Silao, Mexico produces the Chevrolet Avalanche pickup truck
- Wentzville Assembly of Wentzville, Missouri produces the Chevy Express line of large vans
With all of these vehicles being built in locations around both the United States and the world, it's no wonder Chevrolet is seen as one of the largest automobile makers in the world today.
How Does Chevrolet Fit in a Global Marketplace?
General Motors (GM), still the world's largest automaker, acquired Chevrolet in 1917. Chevy makes and models have been some of the most successful selling automobiles in the world. In past decades, throughout the world GM sold cars in foreign countries as imported models. Today, nearly every country carries models through joint venture and collaborative relationships with indigenous automakers.
GM maintains managerial authority over how the brand is promoted globally. Up until 2007, close to 75 percent of sales came from the U.S. Canada, and Mexico. This is changing. The ability for the brand to draw global consumer markets is significant, and GM is aware that the majority of future sales will likely come from markets outside North America. This is why leadership at the automotive giant is moving to update its strategies and unify sales, marketing and service as they continue to develop sales outside the United States. GM expects to increase its global presence in multiple countries, yet Chevrolet is still an American Car.
The names for vehicles reflect the culture of the country where Chevy's are sold, but the dealers promoting the cars have similar standards to Chevy American dealer management codes of conduct. GM is also planning to market to targeted countries in Europe and Asia with a joint strategy across segments.
Some of the changes relating to marketing include using celebrities from other countries, and world events such as the Olympic Games to market GM products. GM is also setting a global standard for uniform sales, service and marketing from the dealership showroom to service and repairs.
For example, the plans to renovate the midsize car segment include a new entry for Europe. The new Chevrolet car for Europe is the Lacetti line that has steadily grown in popularity. Cobalt is under close scrutiny as the Chevy American nameplate to enter the Lacetti line for the new model year. The Aveo is another model being considered for the small or compact segment. In Europe it is known as the Kalos.
Now China is buying more American cars, due to changes in trade laws and tax barriers being removed. Collaborative manufacturing has resulted in an Aveo model for China consumers as well.
Chevy is a global brand that is attracting new buyers to the original trademark it represents. Chevrolet may be increasing its global reach and market, however it will always be an American brand.
How to Buy a Chevrolet for the Cheapest Price Possible
Whether you're shopping for a minivan, a Corvette or anything in between, a car salesmen want to make as much money on a vehicle as they can. However, they will work with people who are willing to sit down and negotiate. How much they are willing to help you is all a matter of how you approach the issue.
Determine the Car's Value
Before you walk up to talk to anyone who is selling the car you want, you should know the car's value. Research the Blue Book value as well as other cars that are comparable to the one you want. Check with other dealers or people selling something comparable and find out what others are charging. Try to find out what the dealer paid the factory for the car.
Research the Car's History
If you're looking at a used Chevrolet, it's easy to find out the history of a particular car. Services like CARFAX are available to dealers who sell used cars. Most used car dealerships offer this service to their customers so they can see for the history themselves. If not, have a mechanic look at it before you make a decision on price. If the seller isn't willing to accommodate this, find a different place to buy. Seeing the actual history of the car will work in your favor if the car has had a lot of work done to it or has been in an accident.
You must be willing to put in some work before you actually approach the dealer. Go to your lender before you start shopping for your car. If you are pre-approved for financing, you can take that information with you to the dealer. If they know that you already have secured financing for the vehicle, they will be able to work with you a little on the price. They know they're not wasting their time and you get a better deal.
Negotiate Slowly and Deliberately
After you have talked with the salespeople, and they have given you the absolute rock bottom price they can for the car, ask to talk with the manager. The price might be just what you are looking for, but talking with the manager can lower it a little bit more, or ensure that the price quoted actually sticks.
Be Willing to Walk Away
The most powerful negotiating tool you can take with you into any car dealership is the ability to walk away from any car. If you let yourself fall in love with a certain Chevrolet convertible, the dealer will know they can talk you into their price. You should always be willing to give up a car and walk away if they won't work with you. Most of the time, the dealer will call back in a few days to see if you might be willing to talk again.
What Can I Expect for Chevy Gas Mileage?
As one of America's largest vehicle manufacturers, Chevy models range from the compact Cobalt, to Silverado pickup trucks and Suburban SUVs, all the way up to world-class performance coupes like the 638 horsepower supercharged Corvette ZR1. There's a Chevy model for every budget, and every garage.
Chevrolet offers a wide assortment of cars to choose from. Their highway fuel economy ratings are as high as 37 MPG for the compact Cobalt, and even 34 MPG for the mid-size Malibu Hybrid family sedan. Even the 430 horsepower Corvette offers over 25 MPG, thanks to GM's Active Fuel Management technology. Active Fuel Management shuts off extra cylinders when you're not using them--allowing your car or truck to run on just four or six cylinders when not you need less power, but instantly allowing you to activate all 8 cylinders with more throttle response. Chevy car fuel economy breaks down like this (all figures are calculated using the most fuel efficient engine and transmission combinations):
- Cobalt XFE Coupe/Sedan: 37 MPG
- Aveo5/Sedan: 34 MPG
- Malibu Hybrid: 34 MPG
- HHR/HHR Panel: 32 MPG
- Camaro: 29 MPG
- Corvette coupe: 26 MPG
SUVs and Crossovers
As one might expect with such classic nameplates as the Suburban (celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2010), Chevrolet has quite a grip on the SUV market. This trend continues with the emergence of crossover utility vehicles (CUVs, or Crossovers, as they're more commonly labeled). A Crossover is an SUV riding on a car platform, giving you the comfort of a car with the utility of an SUV. Even with such large vehicles in this segment, each model has a configuration that can power it to a minimum of 20 MPG highway.
- Equinox: 24 MPG
- Traverse (FWD): 24 MPG
- Tahoe Hybrid (2WD): 22 MPG
- Tahoe: 20 MPG
- Suburban: 20 MPG
Often the lowest of all models in terms of fuel economy, Chevrolet offers trucks with the similar ratings to its SUVs and Crossovers, with none of the models dropping below 20 MPG highway. These trucks offer extreme utility capabilities with relatively good fuel economy, thanks to Active Fuel Management.
- Colorado 2WD: 24 MPG
- Silverado Hybrid: 22 MPG
- Silverado XFE: 21 MPG
- Silverado 1500: 20 MPG
- Avalanche 2WD: 20 MPG
How Do Chevy Sedan Models Compare?
It pays to give second thought to a Chevy sedan, and more particularly to the Chevy Malibu. This model gives its nearest rivals, the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord, a real run for their money.
The Chevy Malibu was the 2008 North American car of the year and achieved this honor by outpointing its nearest rival, the 2008 Honda Accord. Today, it is also available as a hybrid.
Mid-size car options are many, and the competition among manufacturers is intense. The Malibu has features to endear it to buyers. Fuel saving at stoplights, which it does through automatic stop/start restart capability, detection of obstacles in the front and rear, lane departure warning and perimeter-view camera systems are good examples of what is available.
Affordability is a major consideration when Americans go out and purchase a car. The Chevy Aveo sedan is affordable, and in fact is the least expensive sedan of its class. For a sub-compact vehicle, the Aveo offers plenty of space, with solid fuel economy and an instrument panel normally found in pricier automobiles.
The Aveo performs well while being safe to drive and is a good choice for a commute in the city.
For an affordable sedan that performs well, look at the Chevy Cobalt. This is a fun car that offers excellent fuel economy, safety and reliability. This four door sedan offers many of the solid features that you would expect in a Pontiac G5, however the Cobalt has a better body style, which is reason enough to choose it.
How Do Chevy Muscle Car Models Compare?
For some, Chevrolet is the king of the muscle car. Certainly they've made a number of models over the years that earn them that status.
- Camaro.When Chevrolet unleashed the Camaro it was their response to Ford's Mustang and the "pony car" war was launched. This car has been popular since its debut in the 1960s. The first generation Camaros are the ones that rule. Others, though, prefer the 1970s offerings. The car got a redesign for 1970, going from the boxy design of the '60s models to a more European styled look. Whatever your particular taste, a Camaro is a great choice--and a passion that's shared by many
- Chevelle.The Chevelle was something different depending on your needs. They produced station wagon versions that don't really qualify as "muscle cars," but, the Chevelle SS came with a big block V8, and those were real performers. They might not have the kind of universal appeal of the Camaro or Corvette, but there are plenty of people who swear by the Chevelle Super Sport
- Corvette.Just the name conjures up images of speed and style. It represents an American interpretation of the European sports car ideal. For that reason it is almost a brand in and of itself. Whether you're talking about the 1950s versions, the 'Vettes from the 60s--or even newer ones--these things are collectible. They are really vehicles that have no equal
- El Camino. Is it a truck? Is it a car? Today it might be called a "crossover." The El Camino was a unique beast. Essentially, Chevrolet took a station wagon and removed the top portion of the back. That became a truck bed. What they had was a station wagon meets pickup truck. With a big block V8 added to the equation, it was also a muscle car
Chevrolet definitely earned its place in muscle car history by producing several popular entries over the years. They all remain collectible and popular.
What Are the Top Corvette Shows in the U.S.?
For Corvette fans, there's nothing quite like a Corvette car show. It's a chance to see models from all years in perfect condition, and to experience the best American sports car. Every year, there are plenty of Corvette shows all over the country. Finding the cream of the crop will ensure you see the very best Corvettes the U.S. has to offer.
- Corvette Roulette.The annual Corvette Roulette runs in May, at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. With nine events all sanctioned by the NCCC, it's as much a party as a car show. There's also live music, and those coming for the event can receive discounted rates at the hotel
- Cruisin' Around the Mountains.Cruisin' Around the Mountains takes place on a weekend in June, in Saranac Lake, New York. The theme is very appropriately, the 1950s. There's a limit of 150 Corvettes, but that's still plenty to see. Friday night sees the party, with the cruise itself happening on the Saturday, as a convoy of 'Vettes take off around the mountains
- Vette Magic 35.The Vette Magic 35 car shows is hosted by the Northern California Corvette Association, and limited purely to Corvettes. Held in June at the Marriott Rancho Cordova in Sacramento, California, it's a one day event, with time for clean up, judging, and awards. It's a chance to see some of the choicest Corvettes in California at a great Corvette car show
- Festival of Corvettes.Over a decade old, the annual Festival of Corvettes returns to Grand Blanc, Michigan, at the Al Serra Auto Plaza. Both custom and modified 'Vettes are welcome, and all years from 1953 onward are on display at this Midwest Corvette car show
- Vette-O-Rama.For over 40 years, this Corvette show has been held at Diablo Valley Corvettes in Concord, California. There will be 125 of the cars on display, ranging from stock to custom and classic. The event only runs for four hours, so you'll need to be on time to take a good look at every vehicle
- Corvette Club of Richmond.The Corvette Club of Richmond, Virginia has a 50 year history, with a big show at the Sheraton Park South in June. Members of the club display their vehicles--all very carefully cleaned for the occasion, of course
- Club Corvette of Connecticut.With 250 Corvettes arriving to be judged, the Club Corvette of Connecticut annual show in July is big. It's held in Guilford, Connecticut, at the Moros Product Performance center, and includes a swap meet for those Corvette parts you might be seeking
- Greater New Orleans Corvette Club. Held in Slidell, Louisiana in the fall, the Greater New Orleans Corvette Club's annual Extravetteganza is a major Corvette car show. There are plenty of best of awards in a number of different categories
Should I Buy a Corvette Car?
The Chevrolet Corvette is one of the most famous and storied vehicles ever produced. The American Corvette is a true classic and continues to be the car associated with raw American power and performance in a vehicle. The Corvette sports car is either loved or hated by many high end car enthusiasts for a host of reasons.
- Performance.The Corvette's fiberglass shell, light weight and huge V8 engine equal raw power and speed. The Corvette is nothing if not fast, and this the reason it has always been the dream car of many American teenagers and young adults. Nothing represents the American performance car better than the Chevrolet Corvette. The fact that many Corvettes can go from 0 to 60 MPH in under five seconds speaks for itself--this car is fast
- Handling and steering.Although many early model Corvettes suffered from rather poor handling and steering performance, models produced since the 1990s have been highly praised for their handling and steering ability. The Chevrolet Corvette takes corners and turns like a race car that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars more
- Cool factor. One of the biggest reasons for the popularity of the Chevrolet Corvette has always been its cool factor or natural sex appeal. It is quite simply one of the coolest vehicles on the road
- Frequent fluid changes.Many C6 Corvette owners report noise in their vehicle's rear end. Most of the time, this is caused by a lack of rear end gear fluid. Although the problem is easily corrected, many owners have complained about the need to frequently add gear oil to their Corvettes
- Unreliable audio systems.Many Corvette owners have also complained about the reliability of the otherwise high-end Bose audio system that comes with many Corvettes. For some odd and unexplained reason, the audio system tends to simply go silent, and requires a visit to the Chevrolet dealership to correct the problem
- Roof problems and recalls. Another source of many complaints for the Corvette is the targa or sunroof that is included with many popular models. Many owners have complained of the roof leaking or even of the entire sun roof separating from its frame. In fact, GM issued a recall for 2005 and 2006 model C6 Corvettes to correct the problem. Owners of some other model year Corvettes have reported this problem as well
Should I Buy a Nova Muscle Car?
The Chevrolet Nova muscle car is one of the several well known Pony Cars made by the American manufacturer. The muscle car version of the Nova was made between 1962 and 1970. While the Nova was made until 1979, and other models branded under the Nova name have been released since 1985, these cars were never considered to be true muscle cars.
The most popular trim model was the Chevy Nova SS, which can still be found in many collectors' garages today. While the vehicle can be an excellent muscle car investment, there are a few pros and cons of the Nova you should be aware of.
- Speed.The base model Chevy Nova in popular model years came standard with a 350-cubic inch engine, producing roughly 300 horsepower. Because of the car's relatively small size, the vehicle was very fast. There were also versions that came with a 396 cubic inch engine that helped the Nova gain respect from street racers all over the country. However, the ultimate Nova monster was created in 1969, when Chevrolet released versions of the car that came with a 427-cubic inch engine, producing 450 horses under the hood. With so much power in a pony car, there were few other vehicles that could compete on the street with the Nova
- Unassuming style.Although the Chevy Nova was fast, its unassuming style and design did not always let on as to the power of the vehicle. In fact, Chevrolet purposely made most of the higher end trim models with the same simple style and design used in base models. When you pulled up alongside a Nova at a stop sign, you never knew which engine the vehicle had under the hood. Maybe it was a quick family car, or maybe it was a street racing beast. The Chevy Nova was a true sleeper
- Great investment value.The Nova remains an excellent investment muscle car. Novas that are in need of repair or restoration can often be found for well under $10,000. With a lot of work and patience, Chevy Nova cars restored to excellent condition can fetch $50,000 or more
- Highly availability of parts. If you need parts to repair a Chevy Nova, you'll be pleased to know there are many sources for engines and replacement parts all over the country. Used parts are not hard to find in local junkyards, and new parts can easily be found on the Internet
- Bad fuel economy.Although the Chevy Nova has always been known for performance, fuel economy is another story. Novas with smaller engines often get between 12 to 16 miles per gallon, but models with larger 396 or 427 engines may only get 8 to 10 miles per gallon
- Poor cornering performance. A high performance Chevy Nova muscle car can move down a straightaway like few other vehicles can. However, the vehicle was designed for drag racing, not for races that involved negotiating corners. In fact, many Nova owners complain about cornering performance as being one of the weakest points of the vehicle
How Do Chevelle Muscle Cars Compare to Competing Models?
If you're looking at buying a Chevelle muscle car, but you also have your eyes on other cars, such as a Camaro, below you will find a number of arguments for and against buying the Chevelle over the Camaro.
Engines Available from the Factory
Both the Chevrolet Chevelle SS and the Camaro were available with either big block engines or small block engines. Both cars were offered with either a 327 cubic inch small block or a 350 cubic inch small block. However, the Chevrolet Chevelle SS and the 1967 Camaro SS had the 396 cubic inch big block engine as an option. In the Chevelle, when the 396 option was selected, it became the Chevelle SS 396. At the time, this was one of the most powerful American vehicles made. Since any engine that will fit in one will fit in the other, available engines are a draw.
The Camaro was Chevrolet's first muscle car offering for the masses. While it is true that the Chevelle's first year of production was 1963, many aficionados will tell you the Chevelle didn't join the ranks of true muscle cars until 1966. The Camaro was a muscle car from the outset. There have been more Camaros made and purchased since its introduction in late 1966. According to recent estimates, there are more Camaros from that era still on the road than there are Chevelles.
All engine, transmission and differential parts are interchangeable between the two models. Also, many, if not most, of the suspension and steering components are interchangeable. It's when you begin looking for major body parts in the aftermarket you begin to see a difference. Due to the increased popularity of the Camaro, there is a plethora of aftermarket body and dress up parts, and kits for this car. Some of what is available off the shelf for the Camaro but not as readily available for the Chevelle include fiberglass front-end kits, that encompass the hood and front fenders and lift off as a whole unit and fiberglass rear body kits. These are bolt-on kits that replace the factory steel parts, making the Camaro even lighter.
The Camaro is a slightly shorter and narrower car than the Chevelle. For this reason there are distinct weight advantages with the Camaro, which translates into increased power to weight ratio, better acceleration, slightly better handling and shorter stopping distances. Add the fact there are so many aftermarket fiberglass body parts available for the Camaro, and the weight difference increases dramatically. For 1969, the Chevelle had a stock curb weight of approximately 3,550 pounds, while the Camaros of the same years were almost 500 pounds lighter, at 3020 pounds.