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Drove My Chevy To The Levee, But The Levee Was Dry...

By June 10, 2010

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The mojo wire was hot this morning with controversy surrounding a piece in the New York Times about a memo circulated by GM executives to the effect that GM was directing its employees to drop the use of the term "Chevy" in favor of "Chevrolet" in all official communications.

The response from the Chevy faithful was predictable - howls of outrage. So, this morning GM issued a press release, stating "Today's emotional debate over a poorly worded memo on our use of the Chevrolet brand is a good reminder of how passionately people feel about Chevrolet. It is a passion we share and one we do not take for granted. We love Chevy. In no way are we discouraging customers or fans from using the name. We deeply appreciate the emotional connections that millions of people have for Chevrolet and its products."

Fair enough, and that ought to close the controversy. But it prompted me to think about something that I noticed a while back, and that's the lack of Chevrolet (or Chevy) branding on Corvettes. The original C1 'Vettes from 1963 - 1962 all carried the word "Chevrolet" on their badging, and the name returned only for the 1988 35th Anniversary edition Corvette, which copied a badge from a '53. The Chevy "Bow Tie" logo appears discreetly on one of the crossed flags in the Corvette logo, but you don't find Chevrolet or Chevy anywhere on the exterior badging of Corvettes.

So is Chevrolet missing out on the branding of one of its biggest, best, and longest-standing icons? I don't think so - everyone knows that the Corvette is a Chevrolet product, and they don't need to stick it in anyone's face. The Corvette is truly iconic in that way, whether it's a Chevy, Chevrolet, or just a 'Vette.

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