In a strongly worded statement, Chevrolet has explained the memo from CEO Jim Campbell was not intended to stop customers and fans using the Chevy nickname and was intended only for marketing purposes.
Rejecting claims it was trying to reinvent the brand by trying to stop ‘Chevy’ being used, the statement says it is not discouraging customers using the nickname which has become synonymous with the brand.
The statement read:
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."
The Chevy name has appeared in a huge number of songs over the years, perhaps most famously in Don McLean’s American Pie.
However, an internet backlash began yesterday when a leaked memo advised employees to be consistent when talking about the brand with customers, friends or family.
Many took this, and the threat of fines for employees who use the name Chevy, as an attempt to control what the public named the brand.
Chevrolet has since revealed the memo was poorly worded but has been taken in the wrong context. However, some believe it was instead a clever marketing ploy from the manufacturer after the memo was one of the most discussed topics on social networking site Twitter yesterday.