Iconic American car brand Chevrolet is 100 years old as of November 3rd, after marking its centenary with one of its busiest years on record.
As well as launching six new cars across Europe – the Orlando, Cruze Hatch, New Aveo, Camaro, Volt and Corvette Grand Sport, the company is to mark its 100th birthday in the UK by entering the Chevrolet Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) in the Brighton to London Future Car Challenge, driven by the Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Paul Everitt, and Autocar journalist Hilton Holloway.
“We’ve a proud heritage that we feel we should celebrate in the most appropriate way,” said Chevrolet UK Managing Director, Mark Terry. “And that’s by demonstrating exactly where 100 years of progress has led us to – a pioneering triumph of engineering that represents the future. The Volt is the most credible, usable and real-world electric car yet and is true to the principles of Chevrolet, building great looking vehicles that are good to drive, yet are still real cars for real people.”
The Brighton to London future car challenge takes place on the eve of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, illustrating over a century of progress in the motor industry. It will provide spectators with an early opportunity to see a production specification Volt, which goes on sale in the UK in March 2012 priced at £28,545 (including the government’s £5,000 low-carbon car grant).
On a pan-European level Chevrolet, which has enjoyed its best ever market share in Europe through 2011, will mark the centenary with a special sculpture, to be permanently on display in the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland – the birthplace of its founder Louis Chevrolet.
A competition among four teams of renowned artists will determine who creates the artwork. In March 2012, the winning design will be selected by a jury including representatives from La Chaux-de-Fonds and Chevrolet as well as the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and the president of Switzerland's Federal Arts Commission.
The sculpture will serve as a permanent landmark, reminding visitors to La Chaux-de-Fonds (a UNESCO world cultural site) of one of the city's most famous sons, and of course the brand that bears his name.
Swiss émigré and daredevil racing driver Louis Chevrolet and American industrialist Billy Durant founded the Chevrolet Motor Car Company in Detroit, U.S.A. on November 3, 1911.
One hundred years and more than 209 million cars and trucks later, Chevrolet is the world's fourth largest car brand in terms of annual sales, with more than 4 million cars and trucks sold in 2010 in more than 130 countries. Loosely translated, someone in the world buys a Chevrolet about every 7 seconds.
Today the Chevrolet bow-tie continues to represent a youthful, pioneering spirit, confidently expressive design, and uncompromising durability. These qualities can be seen in the whole new line-up including the Chevrolet Cruze, winner of the World Touring Car Championship twice in a row, and the award-winning Chevrolet Volt.
"2011 has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate the iconic successes of the past," said Wayne Brannon. "As we enter our second century, we will continue to be inspired by Louis Chevrolet and his personal motto, 'Never give up!' "