US Car Marques Go on Show In Geneva

02 March 2005

The glitz and glamour of Switzerland's Geneva Motor Show is the backdrop against which US carmakers General Motors and Chrysler aim to drive their European fortunes.

The two companies are hoping to increase market share by expanding sales of their American brands alongside their locally manufactured models.

Chrysler is previewing a five door compact, to be launched next year as the Dodge Caliber. This will be the first appearance of the Dodge brand in Europe for around twenty years. It is also launching a station wagon version of its US bestseller, the 300C.

The company, the US unit of German-headquartered DaimlerChrysler, believes it can sell the same car, give or take a few tweaks, both to American and European drivers - a feat achieved by few mass market carmakers.

GM's Cadillac marque is taking a different route, hoping a Europe-only compact sedan, the BLS, will boost its current 2,000 yearly sales to 20,000 by the end of the decade.

GM belives Cadillac needs to build a presence in Europe if it is to compete successfully for the attention of luxury-car buyers who would usually opt for BMW and Mercedes.

At the other end of the scale GM is also showing a line of low cost Chevrolet-badged autos made by its Korean unit Daewoo.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff