Chevy Cavalier trademark filing fuels speculation

This article was originally published https://www.autoblog.com/2022/09/06/chevrolet-cavalier-gm-chevy-trademark-application/.

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Chevrolet made the rumor mill spin a little faster by trademarking the Cavalier nameplate in the United States. The model retired from the American market after the 2005 model year, and the trademark filing suggests — but doesn’t confirm — that a return could be under consideration.

Discovered by CarBuzz, the trademark was filed in August 2022 and specifically applies to “motor land vehicles, namely, automobiles” — at least we know that a Cavalier-branded blimp isn’t what Chevrolet has up its sleeve. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen “Chevrolet Cavalier” appear in the trademark office. Parent company General Motors filed similar trademark applications in September 2015 and March 2019.

It’s been nearly 20 years since Chevrolet last sold the Cavalier in the United States; the Cobalt replaced the final-generation model, but the name survives in Mexico on a market-specific version of the Monza (another nameplate that will likely ring a bell) imported from China. With that in mind, the trademark filing is far from a guarantee that a new Cavalier is headed to Chevrolet showrooms across the United States.

Carmakers routinely trademark old nameplates to ensure they don’t end up in a competitor’s hands, even if they’re not planning on using them. If every trademark filing spawned a new model, there would be another EXT-badged Cadillac, a born-again Chevrolet Cheyenne, and an American-spec version of the Volkswagen Amarok. On the other hand, trademark filings are sometimes accurate: Acura trademarked the “Integra Type S” nameplate in August 2021, though only for shirts and caps. We haven’t seen the Type S yet, but the Integra is back.

Time will tell what Chevrolet has in store for the Cavalier nameplate; the company hasn’t commented on the trademark filing. What’s nearly certain is that the model won’t return as the cheap and cheerful econobox we knew from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. Chevrolet has made it clear that it’s moving away from sedans and coupes to focus on more profitable and better-selling crossovers and pickups. 

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