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Old 03-21-2008, 07:11 PM   #1
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Businessweek: "Just don't call it a Muscle Car"

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Just Don't Call it a Muscle Car
Posted by: David Welch on March 19

General Motors, eager to flog its reputation as a green company, has a slight problem. One of its most high-profile new cars will be the Chevrolet Camaro coming out next year. With its muscle car heritage and optional V-8 engine, the Camaro is hardly the statement of green, high-tech modernism that every carmaker is trying to broadcast these days. Ditto for the Dodge Challenger, which Chrysler showed at the New York Auto Show today. Arguably, both cars say that these companies are stuck in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

GM thinks it has a solution. Just don’t call the Camaro a muscle car. Mark LaNeve, GM-North America’s vice president of sales and marketing, says he wants to advertise the car’s sporty ride and handling, bold styling and (get this) its fuel economy when Chevrolet launches the car next year. When equipped with a V-6 engine, the car should get about 28 miles per gallon on the highway, La Neve says. “We won’t position it as a muscle car,” he says. “The mainstream positioning will be fuel economy, design and a V-6.”

That will require a real sales job. But Chevy has no choice. GM’s biggest-selling division has to transcend its roots as a maker of performance cars like the Corvette, big trucks and NASCAR. Otherwise today’s car buyers, now looking more and more for gas sippers, will drive right on by. Today, Chevy buyers say fuel economy is the third qualification on their list for buying a car. A couple years ago it was 8th or 9th, says Brent Dewar, GM-North America Vice President of sales, service and parts. GM is trying to gain some green cred with marketing chops like its “Gas-Friendly, Gas-Free” campaign, which touts GM’s foray into technologies like ethanol-powered engines, hybrids and its research into hydrogen fuel cells. “It’s a marketing challenge when you make a paradigm change,” Dewar says. The same could be said for marketing a fuel-efficient Camaro.
http://www.businessweek.com/autos/au...dont_call.html

If Chevy plans on marketing the V6 it will definitely have need to have 300+ hp. It will kill me if Chevy lets Hyundai get away with offering a 3.8 V6 that makes more HP than it's own DI 3.6 V6.
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Last edited by Scotsman; 03-22-2008 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 03-21-2008, 07:15 PM   #2
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For some reason I read that article and it just pissed me off, the reporter is mocking GM and all its efforts. Calling it a friend (green car company) and stabbing (just kidding now its in the 70's wtf mate) it in the back all at the same time. Fbodfather needs to visit this guy...
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Old 03-21-2008, 07:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kyle2k View Post
For some reason I read that article and it just pissed me off, the reporter is mocking GM and all its efforts. Calling it a friend (green car company) and stabbing (just kidding now its in the 70's wtf mate) it in the back all at the same time. Fbodfather needs to visit this guy...
Doesn't bother me at all, I actually think the author is on point. In all honestly, looking around here and reading posts regarding the issue of fuel consumption and having an environmentally friendly product with the new Camaro most folks here couldn't seem to care less (to each his own), and as has been said many times, "We're living in different times". Indeed, it isn't the 60's or 70's anymore.
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Old 03-21-2008, 07:29 PM   #4
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But thats just what I mean, GM however, is making the steps to make it a greener company but its almost like there is a curse following the name saying it can't be. Regardless if they have a v8 or not, they are meeting MPG standards of other companies 4's and 6's
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Old 03-21-2008, 07:31 PM   #5
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But thats just what I mean, GM however, is making the steps to make it a greener company but its almost like there is a curse following the name saying it can't be. Regardless if they have a v8 or not, they are meeting MPG standards of other companies 4's and 6's
True. I for one personally think GM is far far greener than Toyota. Seems like after the Prius and expensive Lexus hybrids Toyota has gone to sleep on doing much of anything else to address alternative fuels and propulsion technologies. GM has literally a plethora of both solutions and solutions with great potential should they prove to work.
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:58 PM   #6
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True. I for one personally think GM is far far greener than Toyota. Seems like after the Prius and expensive Lexus hybrids Toyota has gone to sleep on doing much of anything else to address alternative fuels and propulsion technologies. GM has literally a plethora of both solutions and solutions with great potential should they prove to work.
Speaking of company T's green commitment, it takes around half a million gallons of bunker fuel to ship those cars across the pacific.

As far as marketing the Camaro as a green car, that was one of the things that was mentioned in 2006. But it will be nice to know that the Camaro would have better performance numbers across the board compared to the Mustang and Challenger. And it will be easier to convince loved ones to buy it "no, I want it for the mileage honey" lol. Also, with a DI V6, 28 mpg sounds somewhat low, if the Camaro is lighter and less powerful than the CTS. So therefore, it can't be lighter AND ~40 hp less than the Caddy. One of those has got to give
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My sister's dentist's brother's cousin's housekeeper's dog-breeder's nephew sells coffee filters to the company that provides coffee to General Motors......
........and HE WOULD KNOW!!!!
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Old 03-21-2008, 11:21 PM   #7
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Surprisingly this is good to hear. I was hoping they would do this. Its a smart business move. The car guys who know its a muscle car will buy it for that. But for those people who arent into cars will see it as a good looking and fuel efficient coupe.
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Old 03-22-2008, 12:26 AM   #8
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Also, with a DI V6, 28 mpg sounds somewhat low, if the Camaro is lighter and less powerful than the CTS. So therefore, it can't be lighter AND ~40 hp less than the Caddy. One of those has got to give
Zeta is definitely heavier than Sigma II, I have no doubt about that in my mind. While I wouldn't call Zeta "cheap" I definitely wouldn't say it's been engineered to the same standard as Sigma II.

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Originally Posted by AirGoya View Post
Surprisingly this is good to hear. I was hoping they would do this. Its a smart business move. The car guys who know its a muscle car will buy it for that. But for those people who arent into cars will see it as a good looking and fuel efficient coupe.
I think the V6 version will definitely change things up if what they execs are saying is anything to go by as far as how we see the Camaro and how we define muscle car performance. While many of the muscle car traditionalists will always scoff at anything less than 6 cylinders under the hood of a pony car those on a budget for gas and a car will welcome this Camaro with open checkbooks, but more importantly this "basic" (for the time being) 5th-gen will be the most balanced option between the two models on initial offer and offer more than adequate power for getting around, providing rear wheel shredding performance with 300+ hp (which I have no doubt is what will be officially on tap) from a fuel sipping V6, it can't get much better than that from a 21st century domestic performance car. Not only that but this engine is serious stuff (as I've said many times but I don't think it's resonated with anyone). The 350Z is one of the most popular and highly regarded sports cars on the market today and it has 306 hp from Nissan's own "high output" V6 combined with a highly capable chassis; No one regards this car as a "lousy" performer. I think we ought to try and give this new V6 Camaro the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 03-22-2008, 12:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Zeta is definitely heavier than Sigma II, I have no doubt about that in my mind. While I wouldn't call Zeta "cheap" I definitely wouldn't say it's been engineered to the same standard as Sigma II.
But on the other side of things, the CTS has luxury equipment and sound deadening and so forth, and weights nearly 3900 lbs when all is said and done.
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My sister's dentist's brother's cousin's housekeeper's dog-breeder's nephew sells coffee filters to the company that provides coffee to General Motors......
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Old 03-22-2008, 01:06 AM   #10
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Funny thing is, only recently has the Camaro been a "muscle car". It has always been a pony car; America's sport compact. 28 mpg is just fine for the V6. All in all, very good article, and in my opinion right on point.
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Old 03-22-2008, 02:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerScotsman View Post
http://www.businessweek.com/autos/au...dont_call.html

If Chevy plans on marketing the V6 it will definitely have need to have 300+ hp. It will kill me if Chevy lets Hyundai get away with offering a 3.8 V6 that makes more HP than it's own DI 3.6 V6.

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Funny thing is, only recently has the Camaro been a "muscle car". It has always been a pony car; America's sport compact. 28 mpg is just fine for the V6. All in all, very good article, and in my opinion right on point.
IMO, the Camaro has always been viewed as a muscle car. 1st Gens? Oh yeahhhhh. But agreed...article is on point. 28 mpg's?? Sounds VERY good to me, and I'm sure those who were interested in buying a V6.
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Old 03-22-2008, 02:37 AM   #12
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I gotta say, with all this upbeat talk of the V6's performance (in regards to handling and such) I'll be very tempted to get the V6 model so long as it gets 300 hp and not detuned to 260.
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:45 AM   #13
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Mark LaNeve declares Camaro won't be a muscle car

Hey guys. I've been following the site for quite some time and you guys really know your stuff. I thank you all for keeping the rest of the following up to date. But this morning i stumbled across this on autoblog. Just wondering what you guys thought. I could have misinterpreted what he's saying. I just hope everyone that wants a V-8 will be able to get one. Sorry if this is a repost.

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/03/22/m...-a-muscle-car/

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Old 03-22-2008, 10:26 AM   #14
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GM clearly wont be able to sell enough Camaros if they position it as a Gas Guzzling "Muscle Car". So they are going to sell it as a performance coupe.

Really who cares what they decide to market it as just as long as we get a 400+ Horsepower V8 at a reasonable price...
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