Note: I could have written this from GM's press release, but part-time HybridCars writer Huw Evans is at Geneva covering the motor show for his other gig with AutoGuide and submitted this brief. And below that, I mention some ads for the Chevy brand and Volt. – Jeff

By Huw Evans

This year, out of seven finalists, the European Car of the Year Award was shared by the Chevrolet Volt and its European cousin, the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera.

As it has since 1964, the announcement of the winner for the annual contest preceded the Geneva Motor Show – now open to the press and the public will be admitted March 8-18. The decision to pick the American-made cars came from a panel of 59 voting auto journalists from 23 different European countries.



 

The Volt/Ampera along with the other finalists were judged on a number of different factors, ranging from design, to comfort, performance and technology.

When the dust settled, the Volt/Ampera had garnered a total of 330 points, followed by Volkswagen’s pint-sized Up! With 281 points and Ford’s 2012 Focus with 256.
Chevrolet’s current Managing Director for Europe, Susan Docherty, along with Opel CEO Karl-Friederich Strake were on hand to receive the award.



 

Docherty remarked that “it is a proud moment for us and an honor to receive this award.” Strake added that the announcement “encourages us further to continue our leadership role in the area of mobility.”

Given that both the Volt and Opel AG have been struggling of late, the announcement probably could not have come at a better time.

Under the Blue Arch YouTube channel

Here's the first of a series of Chevrolet commercials based on a TV sitcom theme of which Fast Company says , "The ads, created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, take place at a car dealership notable only for a lack of customers and its resemblance to every car dealership you’ve ever been inside. The absence of customers isn’t a slight on the product, however, but rather a way for viewers to see the Chevrolet employees interact with each other in a dead-on spoof of the modern workplace sitcom."


This is part of a broader Chevy brand campaign, and there are five episodes so far . If you click on the link (immediately preceding), it starts with the Volt ad (also posted directly below) but plays through four more "Under the Blue Arch" themed ads.

Here is the Volt ad where the kid is being serious and grown-ups respond by kidding around ...


"It’s a joke that anybody who’s ever seen NBC’s Thursday-night lineup will get immediately," continued Fast Company about the overall idea of a sitcom theme. "And even if they don’t, the opening salvo in the campaign, a spot titled 'Team Building,' [above with nerf gun fight] lays out the self-aware premise."

Do you think these ads will be good for Chevrolet in general and the Volt in particular?

Owner testimonial Volt ad

Here is another new Volt-specific commercial from GM. The subtext comments on the Volt owner Priya’s more lively first-hand discussion.

GM opens it by saying that Volt owners are the happiest drivers on the planet. But Priya says also that the extended-range car happens to be like a spaceship, and best of all, GM says it will save a boatload of money ...


What do you think?

Is GM onto something that will properly present its message(s)?