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Old 04-08-2008, 09:14 AM   #1
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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!
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:19 AM   #2
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I know Scott (fbodfather) regularly participates on this site so thank you Scott!!
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:21 AM   #3
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nice, thanks for the info.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:33 AM   #4
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Good find.
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"...What IS true: We anticipated that this would happen - we are never finished - and yes, Ford DOES deserve to win now and then. To think that GM can come out with a car to make ford throw in the towel is simply foolhardy..." - fbodfather
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:35 AM   #5
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:36 AM   #6
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I like his statements regarding the last question, specifically. I think that's very encouraging news.
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"...What IS true: We anticipated that this would happen - we are never finished - and yes, Ford DOES deserve to win now and then. To think that GM can come out with a car to make ford throw in the towel is simply foolhardy..." - fbodfather
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:38 AM   #7
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^ agreed, that was really cool of him to say. I've never owned a Camaro but it was nice to feel included in the faithful.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:41 AM   #8
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IMHO; it's good to hear there are actual people at GM who are as enthused about this car as I am (and I'm sure many others here.) This will be my third one, and I've only personally (wifey doesn't count) owned Camaros (until I picked up a daily driver) so it feels good to have people there that will do a good job and do their best to give us what we want.
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Old 04-08-2008, 09:42 AM   #9
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Thanks to the FBodFather!!! All hail!!!
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:13 AM   #10
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Excellent interview. They asked all the right questions and Scott's answers, as usual, were very helpful. It is good to know that everything from marketing to import competition is being taken seriously. As has been said many times, the 6 cyl (and possible 4 cyl) models will go head to head against the 350Zs and Genesis coupes, and it ought to be one heck of a fight.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:30 AM   #11
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Great find. I suggest making this a sticky.
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don't believe a thing you read about the next gen Camaro -- as history has proven time and time again:

WE DO NOT TALK ABOUT FUTURE PRODUCT PLANS PERIOD FbodFather
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:39 AM   #12
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Betraying my age here, I was back in high school when the Camaro was discontinued, and I was very upset because, ever since my dad had one (and sold it ), I had always wanted a Camaro. And though I never wrote a letter to GM (I figured an automotive giant would not exactly give an ear to the begging of a kid who barely had his driver's license) I like to think that those of us who desperately WANTED the Camaro's return were included in the faithful, if only by legacy.

Things I loved about the interview:
- Unadulterated metaphorical bitch slap to Ford ("BRING IT ON, PONY BOY!") :middlefinger:
- Barely giving Hyundai the time of day, only technically calling it "competition." They aren't gunning for the ricer market that much anyway
- 70%-75% finished and the engineers are still busy? I can only wonder and dream
- Basically telling people the truth, that the Chally is nothing more than non-updated sheet metal on a 300 platform
- Sweating the details! It will be worth the wait, and worth the "premium"


Thanks fbodfather. Here's to you
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:44 PM   #13
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Go Scott!

This is the right stuff:

"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."




2010 Camaro SS (Super Scott)
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:02 PM   #14
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I picked up on that "world-class automobile" comment too. That really pretty much says it all. It answers all the questions I have asked on this site, and, I can't imagine I'll have any more to ask. It is the single strongest comment anyone associated with the production of this car can make. Anyone in business today knows you don't make a comment like that unless you intend to back it up. That is what I wanted to hear!!
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:21 PM   #15
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thanx fbodfather! way 2 encourage us! and no, i don't mind waiting for u to sweat the details! great find
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:55 PM   #16
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Thumbs up great info

Thanks scott for an awesome interview. I like it there at the end about the, us keeping the faith. Nice well said.

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Old 04-08-2008, 11:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wild_weasel View Post
Betraying my age here, I was back in high school when the Camaro was discontinued, and I was very upset because, ever since my dad had one (and sold it ), I had always wanted a Camaro. And though I never wrote a letter to GM (I figured an automotive giant would not exactly give an ear to the begging of a kid who barely had his driver's license) I like to think that those of us who desperately WANTED the Camaro's return were included in the faithful, if only by legacy.

Things I loved about the interview:
- Unadulterated metaphorical bitch slap to Ford ("BRING IT ON, PONY BOY!") :middlefinger:
- Barely giving Hyundai the time of day, only technically calling it "competition." They aren't gunning for the ricer market that much anyway
- 70%-75% finished and the engineers are still busy? I can only wonder and dream
- Basically telling people the truth, that the Chally is nothing more than non-updated sheet metal on a 300 platform
- Sweating the details! It will be worth the wait, and worth the "premium"


Thanks fbodfather. Here's to you
WildWeasel -- thanks for the kind words!


Now -- about that letter.......

I read every letter we received.

Every one.

I couldn't answer them --

...........and I was cross - eyed after a while --

............but I read every one.


Some letters were incredibly well written..............

Some talked about the passion people have for the car. Some talked about how the Camaro transcends all generations.

One particular letter had me nearly in tears -- about how a son bought his Camaro -- loved it -- but went off to war and never returned....and the father takes the car to shows in honor of his son.....

Some truly incredible letters......................


(and then there was the one that simply read "....If you drop the Camaro your gay........." ( Hint: it's 'you're' -- not 'your' ...)


Jason Debler and Chris Frezza set up a separate area of CamaroZ28.com where people could post their thoughts.

I got this idea that I'd print it out.


....................well.......................... ........


It took several evenings - and when I was finished I'd gone thru several reams of paper - and the pile of paper was impressive -- three stacks about 2 and a half feet high each...........

So -- you see -- if you choose to write a letter, you may be pleasantly surprised that someone -- somewhere -- just may read it!

The important part? You have passion for the car -- you were upset that it went on hiatus -- and -- YOU KEPT THE FAITH -- and for that I (on behalf of all GM employees) THANK YOU!
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:17 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbodfather View Post
WildWeasel -- thanks for the kind words!


Now -- about that letter.......

I read every letter we received.

Every one.

I couldn't answer them --

...........and I was cross - eyed after a while --

............but I read every one.


Some letters were incredibly well written..............

Some talked about the passion people have for the car. Some talked about how the Camaro transcends all generations.

One particular letter had me nearly in tears -- about how a son bought his Camaro -- loved it -- but went off to war and never returned....and the father takes the car to shows in honor of his son.....

Some truly incredible letters......................


(and then there was the one that simply read "....If you drop the Camaro your gay........." ( Hint: it's 'you're' -- not 'your' ...)


Jason Debler and Chris Frezza set up a separate area of CamaroZ28.com where people could post their thoughts.

I got this idea that I'd print it out.


....................well.......................... ........


It took several evenings - and when I was finished I'd gone thru several reams of paper - and the pile of paper was impressive -- three stacks about 2 and a half feet high each...........

So -- you see -- if you choose to write a letter, you may be pleasantly surprised that someone -- somewhere -- just may read it!

The important part? You have passion for the car -- you were upset that it went on hiatus -- and -- YOU KEPT THE FAITH -- and for that I (on behalf of all GM employees) THANK YOU!

Scott - I'd buy a "7th gen," if we ever make it that far, on my deathbed, even if I never got to drive it.

There's a VERY good reason many of my screen names on various websites include the term "Chevy4Ever."

It's not a wish, it's a lifestyle.

WE BELIEVE!!!
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:52 AM   #19
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I don't even have the address to send a letter to GM. I think I am going to write something to scott via pm. Not tonight as I'm swamped, but I always set aside a little bit of time to come read up on the new details and to stare at my new baby.
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:58 AM   #20
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I can honestly say I've not come across a community like this before - for a car that isn't even here yet! It blows me away.

Just so you know Scott - we're just as enthusiastic over here in that little country you might know as England. It's not terribly easy to own and run a car that's built (size wise) for American roads but the Camaro is something special. I really do look forward to it's arrival here.
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:11 AM   #21
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"Scott: BRING IT ON, PONY BOY!"

I'd give a dollar for that bumper sticker
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:29 PM   #22
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All I know is, my closest friends simply do not believe I 'm gonna be buying THAT car, my wife doesn't believe I 'm talking all day long for THAT car that doesn't yet exist, and I can't comprehent that I 'll be driving THAT CAR with everyone dropping their jaws as a cruise by, and me needing new pumpers everytime I step on the accelerator just a tad harder...

It should be a capital crime having to w8 1 month for it, let alone a year!
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:48 PM   #23
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Excellent thread!
Amazing community.
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