Keep it Proper: GM Urges Employees to Say Chevrolet, not Chevy

The term Chevy is as closely tied to Chevrolet's heritage and American pop culture as, for instance, baseball and apple pie. That said, General Motors seems to frown on employees using the nickname.

An internal memo sent yesterday to GM employees asks workers to stop referring to the Chevrolet brand as Chevy, and instead use its full, formal name. According to GM, this is part of a drive to create consistent brand marketing and awareness across the globe -- including several new markets that aren't familiar with the brand's nicknames.

Still, we can't help but think the word Chevy has become part of American pop culture. Does GM frown on enthusiasts referring to their '57 Bel Air or '63 Corvette as a Chevy? Absolutely not, says Chevrolet spokesman Klaus-Peter Martin.

"There is nothing wrong with Chevy," Martin said. "We love when people call us Chevy." Pet names like Chevy, Caddy, and 'Vette allow consumers to become more attached to the brand and its various products.

Expect the "change" to be most notable in GM's marketing materials -- for instance, we doubt we'll see ad copy referencing "Chevy Trucks" or brochures touting the new "Chevy Camaro" -- but don't expect the transformation to occur overnight. GM has no plans on reprinting existing sales materials, and the brand's website won't be redesigned for some time yet.

Contrary to the New York Times' piece, we also don't expect GM to install a sort of cuss jar in its offices, forcing anyone who used the term Chevy to deposit some spare change. Sounds cute, but Martin says he hasn't seen anything like that.

Source: Chevrolet, The New York Times

GM's Release:

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.

In global markets, we are establishing a significant presence for Chevrolet, and need to move toward a consistent brand name for advertising and marketing purposes. The memo in question was one step in that process.

We hope people around the world will continue to fall in love with Chevrolets and smile when they call their favorite car, truck or crossover “Chevy.”

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