Q&A with fbodfather (Scott Settlemire) regarding upcoming Camaro
saw this Q&A on camaroz28
1) CZ28: We know what the name Camaro means, but what does Camaro mean to you personally?
Scott Settlemire: I think Pete Estes had it right ("Friend, pal, comrade") and the proof is the number of Camaro enthusiasts that get together several times a year to celebrate these great cars. Moreover, it could be argued that we get together each day or night to talk about all things Camaro.
I fell in love with the Camaro on September 10, 1966, and it's been a love affair ever since. Frankly, it was like losing a member of the family when the last Camaro (and Firebird) came off the line at Ste. Therese on August 27, 2002. A lot of tears were shed that week.
I see it as the American performance car. It has a muscular V8 engine, rear wheel drive, and a look that's distinctively "American as apple pie". I see 'em as my "kids" 'cause they really can control my life at times.
2) CZ28: Regarding the recently leaked photos, has it helped the project at all? How much did it hurt the project?
Scott: That's hard to gauge. I'd say that the early leaks hurt us because the shots were very unflattering and what we DON'T know is this:
How many people were waiting (for the new Camaro) saw the leaked images of the unfinished car and said, "the heck with it" and went out and bought something else? That can hurt.
The good news is that the photos we put out there of the front shot of a mule on a high speed track has been overwhelmingly accepted.
3) CZ28: Is the Camaro team surprised by the attention the car has received?
Scott: I knew in my gut that the car would be very well received. What I don't think most people at GM were expecting to see on January 9, 2006 was full-grown men and women burst into tears when the concept roared onto the stage.
I don't think I was quite expecting the non-enthusiasts to embrace the car as well as it has been embraced. I stand quietly by the concept or Bumblebee at various new car shows around the country and look at peoples' reactions and listen to their words. I can't tell you how happy it makes me. This car strikes a chord in most Americans, even those who would never consider an American car.
4) CZ28: Is there any way to tell how the new government regulations will impact future Camaro models? If so, can there be a possibility of it being in a good way?
Scott: I'm not sure that I want to address this subject at this time. The U.S. government just adopted new standards and we're still digesting them so it's really premature for any of us to discuss.
5) CZ28: What are your thoughts on Camaro's soon-to-be competition, like the Mustang, Challenger, etc.?
Scott: BRING IT ON, PONY BOY!
6) CZ28: Some people feel the upcoming Hyundai Genesis is also competition for the Camaro since it has 300HP and is RWD. Agree or disagree that it is competition?
Scott: Of course it will be competition. The consumer has a myriad of choices when it comes to transportation and so in a way, any car or truck is competition. I think the Hyundai will capture peoples' attention because of the styling and frankly, the small import enthusiast crowd's gotta be looking at it...
7) CZ28: What is the current state of Camaro development?
Scott: I'd say 70 to 75% finished. Now having said that, it's never really over as we're looking at the entire lifecycle. Cheryl and the engineering gang are REALLY busy these days. We have some stuff up our sleeves.
8) CZ28: It is reported that dealerships have been taking deposits for well over a year. What are your thoughts on that?
Scott: I'm glad that there are waiting lists. I'm not happy that some dealers have taken actual monetary deposits because they really shouldn't be doing that until they have ordering info. Once ordering info is published then it is appropriate to ask for a deposit.
9) CZ28: How will people know when the appropriate time to place a deposit on a new Camaro is?
Scott: When the order guide hits dealerships - and we'll let you know that.
10) CZ28: How will people know when the appropriate time to place a deposit on a new Camaro is?
Scott: When the order guide hits dealerships - and we'll let you know that through CamaroZ28.com.
11) CZ28: Many people do not understand why the 4th gen F-cars were not heavily advertised. How much advertising can people expect to see for the new Camaro?
Scott Settlemire: People have to remember that GM is like many other business or families with only so much money available to spend, which has been emphasized even more in recent days regarding our 2007 performance. Back in the late 90's and earlier this decade, Camaro's future was bleak for many reasons. Whether correct or not, decisions were made to focus on other areas, reducing the amount for advertising.
12) CZ28: Can people also expect more Camaro product placement in movies, video games, game shows, etc. in the future?
Scott: I'd certainly think so! Transformers was declared "Promotion of the Year" by Automotive News...and let's face it, we have millions of children that may not have known what a Camaro was until Bumblebee helped to save the world!
13) CZ28: With the release of competitor vehicle information like the Challenger, people get frustrated when there is little Camaro information being released. Why is Camaro information not being released as soon or as frequently?
Scott: Well, Challenger will be available for sale sooner than Camaro and when you consider that the Challenger is coming off the Chrysler 300 platform, it's easier to understand why they'll beat us to market faster. Remember this: the Camaro is on an all-new architecture and will be built in a plant that has been entirely revamped. That takes a little more time! Furthermore, we should not sell any Camaro until every I is dotted and T is crossed. We MUST sweat every detail in order to give you a world-class automobile.
14) CZ28: Is there any information available on expected first year production numbers?
Scott: We'll release that information later in the year.
15) CZ28: The lack of T-Tops and the requirement of a B-pillar are two elements that are among the most talked about with disappointment. What is the definitive reason behind both?
Scott: Structural rigidity, quality, and crashworthiness.
For those who want a T-roof and the absence of a B-pillar: You are preaching to the Choir director on this one but I also know WHY we have to make those hard decisions.
16) CZ28: When the concept was designed and developed, was it designed for any possibility or any intent of production or was it purely a concept at that stage?
Scott: You betcha we hoped it would be approved!
17) CZ28: What color will YOURS be?
Scott: Oh boy, that's a hard one. Oh, I get it. You want me to spill what some of the colors may be. I'd say "black over white like a '93 Pace Car". Naturally we don't plan on doing such a paint job so I guess I'd better get out the spray gun.
18) CZ28: If you could say one thing to the person out there who might be considering owning a new Camaro when it comes out but is still undecided or it was just a passing thought, what would it be?
Scott: First, go to a Camaro Show and see the passion that these cars instill. Second, go drive one! You'll be sold.
19) CZ28: If you could say one thing to the person out there who once considered owning a new Camaro when it comes out but ran out of patience and has purchased something else or is now planning on purchasing something else, what would it be?
Scott: Hold off or buy something used. There are always a couple of "orphaned" Camaros and Firebirds out there looking for a good home.
20) CZ28: If you could say one thing to the person out there who has waited patiently through thick and thin (AKA the "Faithful") and will definitely own a new Camaro when it comes out, what would it be?
Scott: We dedicate this new Camaro to YOU, the enthusiasts. YOU are the reason the Camaro is roaring back with a vengeance! YOU were the one who could have said "I'm tired of waiting!" but you didn't. You could have said "Scott, I'm TIRED of 'having faith'. GM isn't talking. I'm outa here", but you didn't. This is a celebration for ALL of us. YOU are the ones who wrote the letters and kept the dream alive!