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Can New Chevy Camaro Muscle Up Sales?

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Can New Chevy Camaro Muscle Up Sales?

Posted By: Phil LeBeau

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For pure "car lovers", the re-birth of the Chevy Camaro is like an early Christmas gift.

A modern day muscle car (base sticker $22,995) built for people who live for the thrill of the drive. Its return, like the return of the Dodge Challenger or the Bullitt Mustang, reminds us of the glory days for American cars. Too bad this Camaro come out when GM is gasping for air and Chevy showrooms are quiet.

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

When GM introduced the Camaro at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show, people drooled over the car. Critics called it the culmination of the GM design renaissance under Bob Lutz. At the time, GM was in the midst of a 5 year plan that would get the company back in the black for good. At least that was the plan.

Three years later, GM is avoiding bankruptcy only because of billions in government loans, Bob Lutz is about to retire, and the Camaro hits showrooms when sales are at 28 year lows.

How much can the Camaro muscle up sales? Not much. This is a niche vehicle coming at a time when consumer confidence is so low, little is driving enthusiasm for new cars. Here's how bad it is. When I told a friend of mine who is your typical "car guy" that I would be driving the new Camaro, his reaction was, "That's nice."

His reaction is not a commentary on the Camaro. It's more a reflection of just how much the consumer has been beaten down by this economy. There are really no new models coming out that have created a "must have" aura around them. And for those of you who think the trio of hybrids (Toyota Prius, Honda Insight and Ford Fusion) are generating buzz, I hate to disappoint you. They are fine cars, but they are not getting average people to sit up and say, "YES! I gotta buy that!"

GM would love for that to happen with the Camaro, but that's unlikely. Right now, new cars are not on the radar with buyers. And while that is completely understandable in this economy, it is also too bad. A lot of people are missing out on a hell of a ride in the new Camaro.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/29719269/site/14081...C&par=yahoo

It's the Economy, stupid.

Hope the Camaro does well.

Still anticipating seeing the first one in the wild.

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First, the Camaro's re-birth isn't an early Christmas gift. It's rather late.

Second, they look so much better on the street than they do in the auto shows or in pictures...

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Well the Challenger is doing well (without incentives), so while the Camaro won't save GM sales wise, it should still find plenty of buyers.

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Everybody I know that's seen one on the street is going crazy about it. All the guys at work that have seen it are crazed about it. My buddy texted me Saturday night after seeing one and was super impressed. It'll sell pretty well once more people see them!

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Now one of my brothers wants one. He's about 92% committed to ordering one and suddenly, as opposed to two weeks ago, the dealers are brokering these as though they were wrought from 24k gold.

I know that the game is afoot here. Some dealers are not asking for a premium and some are. As high as 5 Grand. I tell them: Wait until the pipeline's full and by Thanksgiving the tune will be a little different.

I saw the silver concept in the Doraville, GA assembly plant nearly 3 years ago. I was on-hand the next day when they drove it onto the trailer (in a sullen drizzle that day) to be shuttled-off to it's next stop. The Camaro looked and sounded wonderful and even now, 3 years on, it still maintains it's appeal for me (and my brothers) and is worth waiting for. Yet I see in Phil LeBeau's wistfully-toned story the epic struggle of bringing this fine machine to the masses when the Economy is so rotten even looking forward 6, 12 or 18 months.

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I can't wait to check one out up close and personal.

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I can't wait to check one out up close and personal.

Wouldn't it stand to reason that each dealer would get one to road-test?

I'm hearing that since supply is so tight that the dealers haven't even considered letting prospective buyers sit-on/drive these things and play w/all the gadgets.

Personally, driving the V-6 would only make me want to strap into a V-8 and let those horses run.

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Wouldn't it stand to reason that each dealer would get one to road-test?

I'm hearing that since supply is so tight that the dealers haven't even considered letting prospective buyers sit-on/drive these things and play w/all the gadgets.

Personally, driving the V-6 would only make me want to strap into a V-8 and let those horses run.

You are wrong, sir...

A co-worker got a coupon in the mail from a Chevy dealer saying that if you come in and test drive their new Camaro (when available), you'll get a $10 oil change along with it. Talk about win-win for the customer!

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I can always wait until they have enough to actually check one out. I suspect it'll be like the Challenger the first few months of availability: they'll all be spoken for.

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You are wrong, sir...

A co-worker got a coupon in the mail from a Chevy dealer saying that if you come in and test drive their new Camaro (when available), you'll get a $10 oil change along with it. Talk about win-win for the customer!

This is good. Seems normal doing it this way.

I won't mention the name of the cockiest dealer I spoke with. The representative seems to feel that the squeeze will be on the supply into next Spring. Pshaw on that f*cking idea. Same goes for his 5 Grand over stick bullsh*t too.

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I can always wait until they have enough to actually check one out. I suspect it'll be like the Challenger the first few months of availability: they'll all be spoken for.

Until the novelty wears-off a bit.

Now I see Challengers, not the V-8 models mind you, with 2 foot-tall die-cut vinyl price stickers adorning their flanks at many Dodge dealers.

It'll be some time before a manual 2SS Camaro is spot delivered I would think.

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Well there is greater availability now too.

Yeah. The so-called pipeline is full, the economy crashed and discretionary spending is near an all-time low.

I can't see GM building beyond what they feel that they can sell with reasonable certainty for a while. The Camaro's presence in the market should spark some interest.

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auto show next weekend!

i think this camaro has the sizzle that may get people off the couch, spring is coming. this may be emotional enough car to jump start sales. dealers better not gouge.

i saw the challenger srt this wkd and i was like 'meh'.

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My local Chevy/Caddy dealer says he has five on preorder. This is a small dealership, that he has three CTS's is a big deal.

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Anyone else catch that the V6 model will get 29MPG highway?

And why, again, isn't Zeta a viable platform? Imagine what a Turbo 4 would do in the car (economy-wise)

I think cars like the Camaro and Challenger (and even G8) are selling because of the clientele they sell to. The people buying these cars either 1) specifically want them, no matter what the cost or cost of fuel -or- 2) already have $$$ and either can easily afford them or afford to keep them as a weekend car.

People don't cross shop G8's and Camry's... It's just not gonna happen, no matter how hard GM tries. That's why we need VERY competent Epsilon cars (such as the Malibu and Aura and what the G6 was originally SUPPOSED TO BE)

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These guys moan and groan like auto sales in the U.S. are going to stay at '28 year lows' forever.

Good grief, are these so-called writers that stupid? GM never expected to sell a quarter million of these a year. It might actually be a good thing that it comes out in a slow economy: it does neither GM or the dealer any good to sell a car they can't get, like the Mustang in '64 or the Magicwagon in '84.

This is called perpetuating the doom and gloom myth, and that sells papers. US auto sales have been on the rocks for a year now, and if this recession follows the last 10, sales will rebound by the 4th quarter of this at the latest and then there should be plenty of pent up demand to propel 2010 auto sales at least to the pre-recession levels, if not higher.

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Well, the Camaro does have a history of doing well in tough times.

I predict that it exceeds sales expectations and surprises quite a few people.

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WKA2009031633528_pv.jpg

After the initial excitement/buying binge wears off, this interior is going to be a serious problem for Camaro sales.

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Thanks for making my point.

Those are much nicer. Except for the first one.

WKA2008111783579_pv.jpg

or

2009-volkswagen-passat-cc-interior-pictu

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You think the Challenger's is nicer?! You must be shrooming...

Plus, this is a muscle car, so the interior looks like it'll be just fine. It's not like it's competing against BMW 6's.

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Thanks for making my point.

Those are much nicer. Except for the first one.

None of those is nicer than the Camaro. Not being a big fan of this class of car, I don't have a dog in this fight. They all look about equal to me. The VW I posted is the Scirocco, not the CC. The CC, basing at 27k, isn't Camaro competition.

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