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Intrepidation

Ethusiasts Push GM to Make Camaro

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DETROIT — General Motors executives say they are being inundated with e-mail messages — sometimes 300 or more in one day — from Camaro enthusiasts who are anxious to get their hands on a production version of the concept car shown in January at the North American International Auto Show.

"People will not get off Camaro," Bob Boniface, GM director of advanced design, told Inside Line. "Those people were hurt when that car went out of production, and they're letting us hear about it."

IL reported in January that GM expects to build the Camaro by 2009, according to supplier sources.

Boniface would not confirm last week's reports in a Canberra, Australia, newspaper that a task force at GM Holden is working on a production version of the Camaro concept. He said the business case for a future Camaro is still being "analyzed." Still, he was relatively upbeat about the car's future. "A lot of programs make it to the 10-yard line and get canceled," Boniface said. "But this is buildable [and] believable."

He noted that in discussions about the future Camaro, designers are "going back to the icon," the original version of the car. "The '69 Camaro," he said, "was the king of the pony cars." He added: "If it made it to production, it would look exactly like the concept. That would be the intent."

A major shift from the original would come in the future Camaro's interior, Boniface noted. "The Camaro was never known for its interior," he said. "The materials were poor and there were not comprehensive gauges. [GM Vice Chairman Bob] Lutz said the gauges looked like Westclox, a cheap production design."

What this means to you: So should we build this car that people seem to actually want? Real tough decision…

Link: http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=110197

C'mon GM, build the damn thing and have a runaway hit for once! It's a no brainer!

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I can't wait for its reappearance, at that time I should just have gotten out of the Air Force and be able to replace mine with a new one. I hope they bring back firebird/trans am too though because that's what I really like best, I just couldn't get one because they're a little harder to find than Camaro, same car though.

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Duh reg, 65,000 coupes make loads more money than 350,000 sedans. Didn't you read the instructions that came with the Camaro Kool-Aid?

Enthusiasts do NOT make the majority of new car purchases, its housewives andmiddle-class working dads who gave Toyota all that money they have that allows them to sell the Prius at a loss and develop all sorts of cool technology that may need some bugs worked out, but its on the showroom floor.

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yeah, folks pay $$$ for sedans.  so GM will pour $$$ into making a niche car like Camaro but neglect the Malibu.

192,000 Mustang sold. Should I name how many sedans that car sold more than?

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192,000 Mustang sold. Should I name how many sedans that car sold more than?

There is a lot more loyalty at Ford with the Mustang than the Camaro at GM. Ford is the Mustang and is a bread and butter car over there. The Camaro has been and will be still be an after thought at GM. When people think Ford, people think Mustang. When people think Camaro, well they think other things.

There is a lot more that can be said about the 64 1/2 Mustang and its effect on a generation of people than any Camaro. Ford nailed it with the new Mustang.

I do not care how much better the next Camaro will be when compared to the current Mustang and it will be but the Camaro will never touch the Mustangs sales. Not even close.

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There is a lot more loyalty at Ford with the Mustang than the Camaro at GM.  Ford is the Mustang and is a bread and butter car over there.  The Camaro has been and will be still be an after thought at GM.  When people think Ford, people think Mustang.  When people think Camaro, well they think other things.

There is a lot more that can be said about the 64 1/2 Mustang and its effect on a generation of people than any Camaro.  Ford nailed it with the new Mustang.

I do not care how much better the next Camaro will be when compared to the current Mustang and it will be but the Camaro will never touch the Mustangs sales. Not even close.

Exactly. My mom recognizes the Mustang as a Ford, the Corvette as a Chevy, the Civic as a Honda, and the Beetle as a VW, but she has no idea what the hell a Camaro is. To most people, "Camaro" isn't as iconic as GM wants to believe.

Mustang appeals to 16 y/o girls, tourists, and people with midlife crisis, in addition to just enthusiasts.

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Exactly. My mom recognizes the Mustang as a Ford, the Corvette as a Chevy, the Civic as a Honda, and the Beetle as a VW, but she has no idea what the hell a Camaro is. To most people, "Camaro" isn't as iconic as GM wants to believe.

Mustang appeals to 16 y/o girls, tourists, and people with midlife crisis, in addition to just enthusiasts.

Camaro is iconic if you wear gold chains.

hey i like camaros too, i just hope this camaro program isn't hurting their ability to produce much more badly needed product.

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The 2008 Malibu will be here in a year or so, so I think GM has their sedan coming. Whether it's going to set the world on fire, who knows, but what we've heard about it sounds impressive.

It's interesting that Detroit always seems to build "Detroit style" vehicles better than the Japanese can, but the Japanese usually build better bread-and-butter vehicles. Look at the Corvette, T900s, Mustang, F-150, Camaro (when it comes), 300, Charger, and so on. The Japanese don't build anything that can touch those. However, when it comes to your bread-and-butter family and compact cars, the Japanese always win with the Camry, Accord, Altima, Civic, Corrolla, etc.

Maybe Detroit should focus on Detroit-style vehicles. The next Impala will certainly be "Detroit-style," and so far the LX cars have been successful. Maybe Detroit needs to forget about taking sales from the Camcord with their own Camcord, and build their own style of vehicles that they're actually good at. Obviously it's not a good idea to abandon those segments, but it seems as though they have more success in other segments because the Japanese control those segments.

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There is a lot more loyalty at Ford with the Mustang than the Camaro at GM.  Ford is the Mustang and is a bread and butter car over there.  The Camaro has been and will be still be an after thought at GM.  When people think Ford, people think Mustang.  When people think Camaro, well they think other things.

I was ridiculed here almost 3 years ago for posting the same sentiment when people were working themselves up about a new Camaro, but I agree completely. Edited by ehaase

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Maybe Detroit should focus on Detroit-style vehicles. The next Impala will certainly be "Detroit-style," and so far the LX cars have been successful. Maybe Detroit needs to forget about taking sales from the Camcord with their own Camcord, and build their own style of vehicles that they're actually good at. Obviously it's not a good idea to abandon those segments, but it seems as though they have more success in other segments because the Japanese control those segments.

Absolutely correct. Maybe the new proposed CAFE rules (which appear to be based on the size of the car instead of a particular average for the entire company, if I understand them correctly) will allow Detroit to get out of markets where they are not competitive and concentrate on the cars that can make them profits. Edited by ehaase

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well maybe saturn is being geared up to compete with the camry crowd. but at the same time i don't think chevy should revert back to AMURCHAN iron and retro only.

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I was ridiculed here almost 3 years ago for posting the same sentiment when  people were working themselves up about a new Camaro, but I agree completely.

Yea - I am just waiting for some of the enthusiasts to see my post. I am sure I will be ridiculed soon. But heck, if the enthusisast really were that big of a factor we would not be discussing the potential RETURN of the Camaro icon.

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There is a lot more loyalty at Ford with the Mustang than the Camaro at GM.  Ford is the Mustang and is a bread and butter car over there.  The Camaro has been and will be still be an after thought at GM.  When people think Ford, people think Mustang.  When people think Camaro, well they think other things.

There is a lot more that can be said about the 64 1/2 Mustang and its effect on a generation of people than any Camaro.  Ford nailed it with the new Mustang.

I do not care how much better the next Camaro will be when compared to the current Mustang and it will be but the Camaro will never touch the Mustangs sales. Not even close.

I'm not saying I disagree. Though GM needs to find a way to sell the Impala in volume off Zeta, while still being able to sell the Camaro off Zeta as well. Might as well make a wagon off Zeta and call it the Nomad. Why not add an additional 75-100k off an already shared platform?

And your point about the Mustang name, couldn't that be used for the Camry as well? Meaning no matter how good GM makes the Malibu, it will never touch the Camry sales? Just like the Accord can't beat the Camry in sales, even though it has been a better car. Hardly a reason to just give up.

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well maybe saturn is being geared up to compete with the camry crowd.  but at the same time i don't think chevy should revert back to AMURCHAN iron and retro only.

I agree, but it certainly doesn't need multipul vehicles going against the Camcord. Right now, Chevy has no traditional American cars. They have a imported car from Korea, a car that's comparable to a Civic, a car that's comparable to an Accord, and a car like the Avalon. There is nothing there for the typical American buyer, and the LX cars show that there IS a market for cars like that. The next Impala will address this problem, as will the Camaro, but Pontiac and Buick both need cars that aren't trying to hide there American-ness and be Japanese.

Look at every successful American car. How many of those are trying to be Japanese? How many are saying "F*** being Japanese, I'm an American car!"? Now look at every unsucessful American car and ask the same questions.

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I'm not saying I disagree. Though GM needs to find a way to sell the Impala in volume off Zeta, while still being able to sell the Camaro off Zeta as well. Might as well make a wagon off Zeta and call it the Nomad. Why not add an additional 75-100k off an already shared platform?

That is similar to something I have laid out in the past. In essence it is what they eventually will have out.

And your point about the Mustang name, couldn't that be used for the Camry as well? Meaning no matter how good GM makes the Malibu, it will never touch the Camry sales? Just like the Accord can't beat the Camry in sales, even though it has been a better car. Hardly a reason to just give up.

Besides the Corvette brand, GM's model brands have almost no equity anymore. All of Chevys names are new or are ressurections of names from a forgotten era. Forget about the other division. I have arguments for and against the alph numeric names. But that is another story/

A long time ago I posted my thesis of brand management and stated that GM does not have any brands with equity beyond the divisional names anymore.

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No one is going to ridicule you. As long as the supply of Camaros is one less than the demand their shouldn't be any problems. The Camaro was never meant to be a volume car like the Malipoo or any other mid sizer so it would be foolish to try to compare the sales. I have an inkling GM will do the same thing they did with the Kappas and limit the volume then brag they are sold out.

Personally i am not concerned about the first full year the Camaro is on the market, it's the following years that I have a problem with.

My only argument for the Camaro is that it could generated some good will for the company. Hell every time I see a Mustang I applaude Ford because it is nice to see it on the road. It is an icon done right. But I do not see the Camaro as an icon. The concept was sweet but it is still not the same thing. The Mustang is the Camry of the pony cars but the Camaro done right could have a similar but lesser effect.

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I agree, but it certainly doesn't need multipul vehicles going against the Camcord. Right now, Chevy has no traditional American cars. They have a imported car from Korea, a car that's comparable to a Civic, a car that's comparable to an Accord, and a car like the Avalon. There is nothing there for the typical American buyer, and the LX cars show that there IS a market for cars like that. The next Impala will address this problem, as will the Camaro, but Pontiac and Buick both need cars that aren't trying to hide there American-ness and be Japanese.

Look at every successful American car. How many of those are trying to be Japanese? How many are saying "F*** being Japanese, I'm an American car!"? Now look at every unsucessful American car and ask the same questions.

That's kind of what I was thinking. The American automakers need to find a way to make it cool to own an American car again. Take everything that made American cars great in the past(power and great styling), and bring it back, while using the ride dynamics of a European car, and being refined like a Japanese car.

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That is similar to something I have laid out in the past.  In essence it is what they eventually will have out.

Besides the Corvette brand, GM's model brands have almost no equity anymore.  All of Chevys names are new or are ressurections of names from a forgotten era. Forget about the other division.  I have arguments for and against the alph numeric names.  But that is another story/

A long time ago I posted my thesis of brand management and stated that GM does not have any brands with equity beyond the divisional names anymore.

This is something I strongly agree with but I have to put it in context. In the '90's there was a lot of context left. The Japanese were up and coming, and GM still had good equity left thanks to some solid products along the way. In the 2000's and until now, they haven't had a good solid hit, or a good comparable car. Not truck, car. This has severely damaged equity. When they stopped being relevant is some time after they stopped producing relevant product. The product situation has been dire for some time. Poor in every sense, and nothing worth the price of entry. Nothing that could command a premium hurts big time. Like the guy that went on a test drive with me today, "Americans [products] are rubbish." Unfortunately, that was succinct and correct in too many ways to begin to dissect.

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Personally i am not concerned about the first full year the Camaro is on the market, it's the following years that I have a problem with.

My only argument for the Camaro is that it could generated some good will for the company.  Hell every time I see a Mustang I applaude Ford because it is nice to see it on the road.  It is an icon done right.  But I do not see the Camaro as an icon.  The concept was sweet but it is still not the same thing.  The Mustang is the Camry of the pony cars but the Camaro done right could have a similar but lesser effect.

Okay, I was going to argue your earlier post about Camaro and its impact. But I can see your projections are in solid territory, though I don't ultimately agree with the numerical value you've given. This is the way I see it, just humor me. Camaro in the context of having no world-class sedan is a bad situation. That is why I think, as usual with GM, Camaro is coming at a seemingly bad time for the company. To have no sedan that can even be considered amongst the top, and to be left so far behind in the biggest category, is humiliation without a doubt. This is the context of why Camaro is bad. Camaro is an icon, will make an impact, and will begin a tide of change back towards GM products, if only begrudgingly because of good style and value. Camaro has a great impact, but it is no Mustang. Camaro is however a great looking sports coupe, something to compete with 3-series, truthfully, albeit at a lower price point and with lesser content. But on a driving level, could begin to be considered as a, distant, but still significant, ompetitor, to that car, because of power and American style. I think it will co-exist nicely with the Mustang, stang at around its current levels, or some less, and camaro at around 150k sales, after first year demand. This is of course pending reasonable gas prices, call me for a reevaluation if prices reach and level at $4. ;) Then all hell breaks loose.

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That's kind of what I was thinking. The American automakers need to find a way to make it cool to own an American car again. Take everything that made American cars great in the past(power and great styling), and bring it back, while using the ride dynamics of a European car, and being refined like a Japanese car.

^

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This is something I strongly agree with but I have to put it in context. In the '90's there was a lot of context left. The Japanese were up and coming, and GM still had good equity left thanks to some solid products along the way. In the 2000's and until now, they haven't had a good solid hit, or a good comparable car. Not truck, car. This has severely damaged equity. When they stopped being relevant is some time after they stopped producing relevant product. The product situation has been dire for some time. Poor in every sense, and nothing worth the price of entry. Nothing that could command a premium hurts big time. Like the guy that went on a test drive with me today, "Americans [products] are rubbish." Unfortunately, that was succinct and correct in too many ways to begin to dissect.

I am heading to bed shortly but I want to answer this post. PM me if I forget. I do have something to add and share.

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