GM Issues Statement on 'Chevy' Name after Leaked Memo Prompts Staff to Dump Nickname

Earlier this morning, the New York Times reported that on Tuesday, General Motors sent a special memo to Chevrolet employees at its Detroit headquarters politely (sic) suggesting they ditch the "Chevy" moniker for "consistency" of the brand.

The Detroit automaker responded with an official statement which more or less supports the use of the 'Chevy' nickname by consumers and fans alike (as if GM could do anything to stop them...), but says nothing about its employees. That said, it appears GM staff are indeed being told to avoid saying Chevy when referring to Chevrolet.

The Times quoted this memo signed by Alan Batey, vice president for Chevrolet sales and service, and Jim Campbell, the G.M. division's vice president for marketing:

"We'd ask that whether you're talking to a dealer, reviewing dealer advertising, or speaking with friends and family, that you communicate our brand as Chevrolet moving forward."

"When you look at the most recognized brands throughout the world, such as Coke [how ironic that GM refers to Coca Cola with its nickname...] or Apple for instance, one of the things they all focus on is the consistency of their branding. Why is this consistency so important? The more consistent a brand becomes, the more prominent and recognizable it is with the consumer."

In addition, the Times reported that a postscript to the memo says "Every time someone uses 'Chevy' rather than Chevrolet, the employee is expected to put a quarter in the can", with the proceeds to be spent on "a team building activity," [for example, egg the people that came up with this brilliant idea...].

Here's General Motors' official statement on the matter:

"Chevy" will continue to reflect the enthusiasm of customers and fans

"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."

So, what do you have to say about GM's "suggestion" to its employees to stop using the 'Chevy' name when referring to Chevrolet? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Memo Source: New York Times