The memo said, "In global markets, we are establishing a significant presence for Chevrolet, and need to move toward a consistent brand name."
"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. "Why is this consistency so important? The more consistent a brand becomes, the more prominent and recognizable it is with the consumer."
Several newspapers pointed out that "Chevy" has been used in GM advertising for decades and GM quickly retracted the directive on Thursday, the Detroit Free Press reported.
GM called the first memo "poorly worded" and said the reaction was proof of "how passionately people feel about Chevrolet."
"We love Chevy. In no way are we discouraging customers or fans from using the name," the second memo said.