GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall

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Chevy is as iconic as an American car brand comes, but that hasn’t helped sell cars in Europe.

General Motors announced Thursday it will end deliveries of Chevrolet vehicles to Europe by the end of 2015 to focus on its core European brands, the German-based Opel and U.K.-based Vauxhall. The move to shift production from Chevy to Opel and Vauxhall is expected to cost GM a one-time fee of between $700 million and $1 billion.

Chevy long has been one of the best-selling car brands in the U.S., but it didn’t do as well as expected in Europe. Three popular cars that Chevy builds in Europe include the Camaro, Corvette and the new hybrid electric Volt.

But Chevy sales suffered from a downturn in European demand over the past several years because of the financial crisis.

The division’s European headquarters, which was relaunched in 2005, is based in Zurich, where it employees about 800 people.

GM’s stock showed little reaction to the move, inching up about 40 cents, or 1 percent, to $39 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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