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Old 05-11-2008, 10:14 PM   #1
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GM ponying up with Camaro

From the Orlando Sentinel:


Ford's success has GM and Chrysler ponying up

No one at Chrysler or General Motors is much interested in saying it on the record, but make no mistake: We would not be getting the 2008 Dodge Challenger or the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro had it not been for the out-of-the-gate success of the retro-styled 2005 Ford Mustang.

In the monkey-see, monkey-will-do-as-soon-as-he-gets-the-board-to-agree world of automobile manufacturing, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Ford moved more than 160,000 Mustangs at or above list price in 2005, and even more in 2006. GM and Chrysler executives correctly reasoned that they, too, had "pony cars" from the 1970s they could revive: Why let Ford get all that gravy?

First, though, a quick history lesson for those who just recently started shaving: "Pony car" is the term used to describe that cadre of uniquely Detroit cars from the 1960s and '70s that included the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Pontiac Firebird, Plymouth Barracuda, Mercury Cougar and American Motors Javelin.

Born in an era of 30-cents-a-gallon gasoline, pony cars typically emphasized style over substance, performance over practicality. Perhaps that's one reason we remember them so fondly -- they remind us of when driving was supposed to be fun, not a pricey, often political ordeal.

So when the 2005 Ford Mustang, a faithful re-creation of the 1969 and 1970 Mustang, became a hit, it was only natural for Dodge to figure out how to resuscitate the Challenger, and Chevy to do the same with the Camaro.

Decisions such as these must be made well in advance -- at least three years or longer. In the 1970 business climate, that was not such a big issue.

Now, it is. The problem: Mustang sales are down. Numbers just in from Automotive News show that Ford has sold 34,527 Mustangs in the first four months of 2008, compared to 47,082 in the first four months of 2007.

What's going on? Well, Ford Focus sales have gone from 56,463 the first four months of 2007, to 72,920 that same period this year. The Focus is cheaper than the Mustang and gets better fuel mileage. In an uncertain economy, and with record gas prices, that pretty well tells the tale.

Of course, this is not to say the Mustang is failing. If these numbers hold, Ford will sell more than 138,000 this year, and for a car that is 4 years old, that isn't bad. Of course, Ford is discounting the Mustang to keep it moving, but that's expected, at least until a redesigned Mustang shows up for 2010.

But what does this mean for Dodge and Chevrolet?

Mild to moderate uneasiness, I'd suspect. Serious devotees of the brands -- largely those who owned an original 1971 Challenger or 1969 Camaro, or wish they had -- won't be swayed by the economy or gas prices. But for both cars to be a mainstream success, they must tap into that Mustang market.

Which, suddenly diluted three ways, could get painfully thin.

So far, initial pre-sales of the 2008 Challenger, which is a top-of-the-line, $38,000 SRT8 model only, have been very strong. This fall, the 2009 Challenger lineup will grow to include a V-6 version that will start at about $23,000, and a midlevel performance version with a V-8. That puts the Challenger in direct competition with the Mustang.

The Chevrolet Camaro will finally go on sale in March 2009 as a 2010 model, and Chevrolet has been consciously steering its marketing machine away from billing the car as a performance vehicle, and more as a personal sporty coupe. There will be a powerful V-8 version offered first, followed promptly by a mainstream V-6 model. That 3.6-liter V-6 the Camaro will receive is expected to get 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, comparable to the current Mustang. Is that good enough for you?

Predicting how well the three pony cars will do when all are battling it out in a year is the same as accurately predicting the economy and gas prices.

And if you can do that, three companies in Detroit would love to hire you.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/class...4915536.column

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Old 05-11-2008, 10:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaro5 View Post
From the Orlando Sentinel:


Ford's success has GM and Chrysler ponying up

No one at Chrysler or General Motors is much interested in saying it on the record, but make no mistake: We would not be getting the 2008 Dodge Challenger or the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro had it not been for the out-of-the-gate success of the retro-styled 2005 Ford Mustang.

In the monkey-see, monkey-will-do-as-soon-as-he-gets-the-board-to-agree world of automobile manufacturing, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Ford moved more than 160,000 Mustangs at or above list price in 2005, and even more in 2006. GM and Chrysler executives correctly reasoned that they, too, had "pony cars" from the 1970s they could revive: Why let Ford get all that gravy?

First, though, a quick history lesson for those who just recently started shaving: "Pony car" is the term used to describe that cadre of uniquely Detroit cars from the 1960s and '70s that included the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Pontiac Firebird, Plymouth Barracuda, Mercury Cougar and American Motors Javelin.

Born in an era of 30-cents-a-gallon gasoline, pony cars typically emphasized style over substance, performance over practicality. Perhaps that's one reason we remember them so fondly -- they remind us of when driving was supposed to be fun, not a pricey, often political ordeal.

So when the 2005 Ford Mustang, a faithful re-creation of the 1969 and 1970 Mustang, became a hit, it was only natural for Dodge to figure out how to resuscitate the Challenger, and Chevy to do the same with the Camaro.

Decisions such as these must be made well in advance -- at least three years or longer. In the 1970 business climate, that was not such a big issue.

Now, it is. The problem: Mustang sales are down. Numbers just in from Automotive News show that Ford has sold 34,527 Mustangs in the first four months of 2008, compared to 47,082 in the first four months of 2007.

What's going on? Well, Ford Focus sales have gone from 56,463 the first four months of 2007, to 72,920 that same period this year. The Focus is cheaper than the Mustang and gets better fuel mileage. In an uncertain economy, and with record gas prices, that pretty well tells the tale.

Of course, this is not to say the Mustang is failing. If these numbers hold, Ford will sell more than 138,000 this year, and for a car that is 4 years old, that isn't bad. Of course, Ford is discounting the Mustang to keep it moving, but that's expected, at least until a redesigned Mustang shows up for 2010.

But what does this mean for Dodge and Chevrolet?

Mild to moderate uneasiness, I'd suspect. Serious devotees of the brands -- largely those who owned an original 1971 Challenger or 1969 Camaro, or wish they had -- won't be swayed by the economy or gas prices. But for both cars to be a mainstream success, they must tap into that Mustang market.

Which, suddenly diluted three ways, could get painfully thin.

So far, initial pre-sales of the 2008 Challenger, which is a top-of-the-line, $38,000 SRT8 model only, have been very strong. This fall, the 2009 Challenger lineup will grow to include a V-6 version that will start at about $23,000, and a midlevel performance version with a V-8. That puts the Challenger in direct competition with the Mustang.

The Chevrolet Camaro will finally go on sale in March 2009 as a 2010 model, and Chevrolet has been consciously steering its marketing machine away from billing the car as a performance vehicle, and more as a personal sporty coupe. There will be a powerful V-8 version offered first, followed promptly by a mainstream V-6 model. That 3.6-liter V-6 the Camaro will receive is expected to get 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, comparable to the current Mustang. Is that good enough for you?

Predicting how well the three pony cars will do when all are battling it out in a year is the same as accurately predicting the economy and gas prices.

And if you can do that, three companies in Detroit would love to hire you.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/class...4915536.column

Come on now..i may be younger but i know what good old muscle cars are ..maybe even more than newer cars that r coming out now..
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:45 PM   #3
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No one at Chrysler or General Motors is much interested in saying it on the record, but make no mistake: We would not be getting the 2008 Dodge Challenger or the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro had it not been for the out-of-the-gate success of the retro-styled 2005 Ford Mustang.
Complete, utter, 100% (well, more like 90%)
Other than that...it was an okay article, thanks for postin it!
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Old 05-11-2008, 11:22 PM   #4
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The Camaro will tap into mustang sales (probaly drowning them out) but it will appeal to its own crowd as well. hopefully it will be nice enough you will see buisness execs. driving their SS to lunch.

interesting article but im not sure what you tried to accomplish with it...
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:05 AM   #5
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Complete, utter, 100% (well, more like 90%)
Other than that...it was an okay article, thanks for postin it!
+2 I could give a poop about the Mustang.
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaro5 View Post
From the Orlando Sentinel:

Now, it is. The problem: Mustang sales are down. Numbers just in from Automotive News show that Ford has sold 34,527 Mustangs in the first four months of 2008, compared to 47,082 in the first four months of 2007.
Thats when GM and Chrysler comes in and start taking sales, but who knows how sucessful the 2010 mustang would be, shit it could top GM and Chrysler sales combined, only time would tell
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Old 05-12-2008, 02:45 PM   #7
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Thats when GM and Chrysler comes in and start taking sales, but who knows how sucessful the 2010 mustang would be, shit it could top GM and Chrysler sales combined, only time would tell
what they're trying to point out is how the market for these cars is decreasing right now... and that isn't a good thing...we'll see how it goes come March though...
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:01 PM   #8
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There's plenty of room for Camaro...

Don't forget this part:

"Of course, this is not to say the Mustang is failing. If these numbers hold, Ford will sell more than 138,000 this year, and for a car that is 4 years old, that isn't bad."

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Old 05-12-2008, 03:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by camaro5 View Post
There's plenty of room for Camaro...

Don't forget this part:

"Of course, this is not to say the Mustang is failing. If these numbers hold, Ford will sell more than 138,000 this year, and for a car that is 4 years old, that isn't bad."

,
ok... you got me there... i guess they have saturated the market with high sales of the same car since fall 2004... so i guess i'll breath a little bit... but the market is shrinking no 2 ways about it...
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Old 05-12-2008, 03:47 PM   #10
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... but the market is shrinking no 2 ways about it...

Totally agreed. And the "pie" must be cut three ways. But I think they'll make enough money to keep making them, and then they should evolve down the road (more mpg).


z
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:14 PM   #11
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what they're trying to point out is how the market for these cars is decreasing right now... and that isn't a good thing...we'll see how it goes come March though...
They fail to point out that sales of the 2008 Mustang could simply be declining because lots of people are conscious of the fact it will be "freshened" in 2009. People tend to wait for the new models so they don't wind up having the 'old hat' version a year down the road.

Plus, how many sales are they NOW losing to those who've read of a much nicer car coming from Chevrolet next year?

I really don't think you can attribute so much of the sales decline to economy and politics and fuel.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:32 PM   #12
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Also, Dodge isn't planing on selling 100k Challengers, probably aiming for half that. Mustang sales will drop to maybe 100k, which is what the Camaro is expected to do as well. So its not as if anyone expects there to be a 350k pony car market right now. 250k? probably, depending on how efficient the V6 Camaros and Challengers are and what they get priced at.
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:04 PM   #13
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I love the camaro, the history behind the vehicle, and the passion that has been put into it... and hope it does well. However, If it doesn't, and this market is dimishing, I could also care less, because I will have one.....and thats all that matters...

I kid, I kid..I hope this car does well and continues its legacy
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