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Lutz: Wagoner was right about Camaro

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Lutz: Wagoner was right about Camaro

Automotive News -- January 18, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

Bob Lutz fancies himself a car guy, but he concedes that former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner -- a bean counter who came up through the financial side -- was right when he pulled rank on a key decision on the Chevrolet Camaro a few years back.

The new Camaro, which debuted last March, finished just 4,975 units behind the Mustang's 66,623 sales last year, even though Ford's muscle car had 12 months of sales. Lutz says that's because the Camaro doesn't look much like the 1967 version, while the Mustang is a "replicar."

The new Camaro was going to be a throwback, too -- a retro-styled version of the old Camaro. And as GM's head of product development at the time, Lutz approved that decision. But Wagoner said no.

"You know, it's not bad, but we shouldn't be in the business of being 'replicars,' " Wagoner said, according to Lutz. "We've really got to make a modern design statement with this car."

Said Lutz: "It wasn't often that Rick intervened in stuff like that. But that time he did, and he was absolutely right."

Lutz, vice chairman and an adviser to interim CEO Ed Whitacre, said Wagoner's gut-level decision led to an average transaction price for the Camaro that's $8,000 or $9,000 more than what GM had anticipated.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100118/OEM03/301189923/1261/OEM02#ixzz0d7LwnhOl

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So I guess Rick will have one good legacy.

No, he has two. The second one is the CoolRick Roll.

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So I guess Rick will have one good legacy.

TWO - He made Chevrolet #1 in sales one year over Toyota in 2006.

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Bob Lutz fancies himself a car guy, but he concedes that former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner -- a bean counter who came up through the financial side -- was right when he pulled rank on a key decision on the Chevrolet Camaro a few years back.

The new Camaro, which debuted last March, finished just 4,975 units behind the Mustang's 66,623 sales last year, even though Ford's muscle car had 12 months of sales. Lutz says that's because the Camaro doesn't look much like the 1967 version, while the Mustang is a "replicar."

The new Camaro was going to be a throwback, too -- a retro-styled version of the old Camaro. And as GM's head of product development at the time, Lutz approved that decision. But Wagoner said no.

"You know, it's not bad, but we shouldn't be in the business of being 'replicars,' " Wagoner said, according to Lutz. "We've really got to make a modern design statement with this car."

Can someone translate this so it makes sense? The new Camaro DOES look like the 1967 version... and is as much a "replicar" as the Mustang... which is perfectly fine with me.

It seems to me, Lutz is admitting Wagoner was right about something Lutz was on board with. WTH?

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Because it doesn't. It's inspired by the first first gen Camaro but is a much more modern overall design. There's nothing wrong with a retro replica, I love the Challenger, but the Camaro's not a replica. IMO the Mustang is halfway between the two.

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Neither is a replicar. They couldn't legally build a car that was a very true replica of the old ones due to safety restrictions. Styling hints mixed into a modern design is a much better way to go.

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Can someone translate this so it makes sense? The new Camaro DOES look like the 1967 version... and is as much a "replicar" as the Mustang... which is perfectly fine with me.

It seems to me, Lutz is admitting Wagoner was right about something Lutz was on board with. WTH?

Actually, initial design concepts for the F5 Camaro were very influenced by the 1969 model before they were changed.

The concept to the left of the picture illustrates this:

Chevrolet%20Camaro%20Concept%20prototypes%20lg.jpg

The only key elements from the '69 design that still were carried over into the F5 were the rear quarter hips, the character line that runs from the top of the front quarters into the door skins, the hooded upper fascia, and the louvers on the lower rear quarter panels. That's really about it.

2006-Chevrolet-Camaro-Concept-Creation-1969-1024x768.jpg

That pic illustrates the differences between the Camaro's styling benefactor and itself very nicely. The F5 is not a carbon copy of the '69 model.

Edited by whiteknight
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That pic illustrates the differences between the Camaro's styling benefactor and itself very nicely. The F5 is not a carbon copy of the '69 model.

I didn't say it was a carbon copy... neither is the modern Mustang.

IMHO, the only part of the new Camaro that does mirror the 1967-1969 are the taillights... which are a nod to the 1970s Camaros, Chevelles, and Corvettes.

Either way, while GM was screwing around, Ford was selling tons of Mustangs, "replicar" or not.

Lutz, in this article sounds like somebody was proposing a replica of the 1967.. a la Dynacorn's Camaro bodies...

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To be honest the Camaro has as much C6 in it as it does 69 Camaro. The cut and folded lines. the quarter flairs and even the tail lights are as much modern Vette as any ols Camaro.

The Gen 5 only has the outline of a 69 and a grill that recalls a 69 and not much more.

The Challanger on the other hand will have issues as it tries hard to recall the original car and nothing else. Also in their case they do not have 4 other Gens of Challanger to draw heritage cues from.

I find it funny how the C4, C5, C6 all have drawn on the C3 for it's styling and no one calls it Retro.

With the more modern look the Camaro can advance into the future with so many more options and not be classed as a retro while still looking like a Camaro.

Remember that at one time they even had a fast back like the 2nd gen on this car early on in the design compitition.

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