GM Swears it Loves "Chevy" as Much as "Chevrolet"

The Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle with a 230 miles-per-gallon rating, is shown in front of the GreenHouse, a custom-built 4,000 sq-ft "carbon neutral" house in MacLean, Virginia Tuesday, September 22, 2009. The Volt will travel 40 miles on a single charge, meaning it could drive to Washington, DC and back twice from this location, without using a drop of gas. GreenHouse was designed and constructed using the latest environmental technologies, including solar hot water and electricity, a green roof system, rain water capture, geothermal heating/cooling and much more. The house will be open to the public for tours October 10-30. (Photo by Mark Finkenstaedt for General Motors) X09SN_SN238
The Chevrolet Volt, or the Chevy Volt, if you prefer.

In what might be described as a misunderstanding of branding, General Motors sent a memo to employees Tuesday asking that they refer to Chevrolet by its official name and not its popular moniker, Chevy.

The memo was signed by by GM's vice president for Chevrolet sales and service, and the GM division's vice president for marketing.

According to the New York Times, the memo read, "When you look at the most recognized brands throughout the world, such as Coke or Apple for instance, one of the things they all focus on is the consistency of their branding."=http:>

Perhaps. Those two companies also have something else in common with Chevrolet. They're known by more than just their full company names.

Coke is really Coca-Cola and Apple -- though widely known by the name "Apple" -- is arguably more known by its products. Think of iPods, iPads and MacBooks.

So after an outcry over the branding shift by Chevy employees, Chevy customers and even non-Chevy customers in the general public, the automaker released a memo Thursday backtracking on the "Call it Chevrolet" idea:

"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.'"