DETROIT - Turns out you can take your "Chevy to the levee" or any other darn place you please.
General Motors Co. Thursday backed off a "poorly worded" internal memo that asked employees to refer to the brand only as "Chevrolet" in an effort to create consistency.
GM says in a statement that it "in no way" is discouraging anybody from using the name Chevy. The internal memo was part of an effort to develop a consistent brand name as it tries to broaden its global presence.
There have been many pop culture references to Chevys. Perhaps the best known is in Don McLean's "American Pie." Its signature sing-along chorus begins, "Bye bye, Miss American pie, drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry."
On Tuesday, GM sent a memo to Chevrolet employees at its Detroit headquarters, promot-ing the importance of "consistency" for the brand, which was the nation's best-selling line of cars and trucks for more than half a century after World War II. The memo suggested they stop saying "Chevy."
"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," said the memo, which was signed by Alan Batey, vice president for Chevrolet sales and service, and Jim Campbell, the GM division's vice president for marketing.
"When you look at the most recognized brands throughout the world, such as Coke or Apple for instance, one of the things they all focus on is the consistency of their branding," the memo said.
The memo does not take note, however, that Coke is shorthand for Coca-Cola.
If the memo was taken to its logical conclusion, Chevrolet would presumably need to ask Jeff Gordon, the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion who currently races a Chevrolet Impala, to change the Web site address - jeffgordonchevy.com - for his dealership in Wilmington, N.C.