One hundred years is a long time. But over the past couple, several automakers have marked their centenaries, among them Ford, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Bugatti... and Chevrolet. The Bowtie brand has been marking its milestone birthday with a number of celebrations throughout the year, and doesn't plan on stopping any time soon.
Among the initiatives General Motors has planned for its mainstay brand is the launch of a documentary entitled Chevy 100: An American Story that debuts today at the Detroit Institute of Arts and will air coast-to-coast on Discovery's Velocity Channel on November 21.
The company will also erect a monument at Louis Chevrolet's birthplace of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland (who knew?), while Chevy owners in South Korea set the Guinness World Record for the creating the world's largest car logo out of their own automobiles.
As part of the celebrations, Chevrolet is also asking owners and enthusiasts like yourself to recall their favorite Chevy memories and experiences, which we invite you to share in our comments section. Don't forget to check out the history retrospective in the video (along with the press release) after the jump.
Centennial year celebrated with events across America and around the world
DETROIT – In celebration of its 100th birthday Thursday, Chevrolet is recognizing the people who have made Chevrolet the successful global brand it is today. The brand is offering dealer promotions in hometowns across the United States, starring in a feature-length documentary, and inviting fans to share their Chevrolet memories online.
The activities cap a year-long celebration of Chevrolet's Centennial that kicked off in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and encompassed events in Chevrolet hometowns around the world.
"We understand Chevrolet is more than a brand – it belongs to everyone who owns, designs, builds, sells or loves Chevrolets," said Chris Perry, vice president, Chevrolet global marketing and strategy. "The past 100 years wouldn't have been possible without millions of people who have each made Chevrolet a part of their life's journey."
To thank U.S. customers, Chevrolet dealers across the nation will sponsor open houses and a number of promotions through Nov. 7. Chevrolet customers can visit the Chevrolet website to learn more about centennial celebrations in their area.
The passion many feel for Chevrolet is the subject of a new Chevrolet Centennial documentary produced by award-winning filmmaker Roger Sherman. "Chevy 100, An American Story" explores Chevrolet culture through owners, collectors, journalists and historians. Following a Detroit premiere Thursday at the Detroit Institute of Arts; the film will air nationally Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. on the Velocity Channel and will then be available on DVD from chevymall.com.
A global brand, Chevrolet is also celebrating its centennial around the world. For example, Chevrolet Europe is recognizing Louis Chevrolet's Swiss birthplace of La Chaux-de-Fonds by commissioning a public artwork on the Parc de l'Ouest. In Korea, Chevrolet customers set a Guinness World Record by creating the world's largest car logo.
Chevrolet in August hosted a Chevrolet parade at the Woodward Dream Cruise, where more than 100 old and new Chevrolets – 50 of them Chevrolet Volts – cruised Woodward Avenue. Chevy also served as presenting sponsor for the Cruise, which brings more than 50,000 cars and 1.5 million car fans to Detroit's storied Woodward Avenue each year.
Chevrolet also joined with the Indianapolis 500 to celebrate 100 years of shared history, and announced that it is returning to Indy car racing as an engine supplier and as sponsor of the Detroit Grand Prix.
To connect with fans globally, Chevrolet launched its interactive Chevy100.com website earlier this year and recently added two interactive web experiences: "The Road We're On" and "The Ride of Your Life." In addition, Chevrolet asked its fans on Twitter to post questions that Alan Batey, vice president, Chevrolet sales, service and marketing, will answer Thursday on the Chevrolet YouTube page.
Upcoming introductions include the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle in Europe and China; as well as the Chevrolet Spark in the United States and Canada in 2012 and its electric sibling in select global markets in 2013. They join new global introductions such as the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu sedan and new Chevrolet Colorado midsize truck.
Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 140 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Sonic, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly to gas-free" solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com