|08-10-2006, 10:00 PM||#26|
DETROIT -- The reborn Chevrolet Camaro, due in early 2009, will be a muscle car tailored to an era of expensive gasoline, Chevrolet's top marketer said today.
Speaking at a press event, Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper said: "We will offer V-6 and V-8 engine variants. We think we'll be able to have really strong gas mileage, certainly on the V-6 model and the V-8, too."
General Motors uses cylinder deactivation, which it markets as Active Fuel Management, to boost mileage on its new crop of full-sized SUVs. Peper said that technology could be used on the Camaro.
"We may well have Active Fuel Management on the V-6, if that's what somebody wants," he said. "But remember, we produce Corvettes now that get over 400 hp and get 28 miles to the gallon."
Despite rising gasoline prices, the Camaro gives GM an entry into the growing muscle-car revival that includes cars such as Ford's Mustang-based Shelby GT500 and the Dodge Challenger, scheduled to reach showrooms in 2008 with a Hemi engine.
Peper identified the Mustang and Challenger as key competitors. GM has declined to reveal Camaro pricing, but Peper said the car is "going to be the best value in every segment where we can be."
Production in 2008
GM has big plans for the Camaro. CEO Rick Wagoner said today that the car will go into production in late 2008 and will go on sale in early 2009. The production Camaro will closely resemble the concept car unveiled in January at the Detroit auto show, he said.
Wagoner said the sports coupe will be available with a variety of engines and transmissions. He hinted that a convertible version might also be in the works.
"It will come in many shapes and sizes," Wagoner said.
The car will be engineered by GM's Holden subsidiary in Australia but built in North America, Wagoner said today at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich.
GM will announce the car's production site later, Wagoner said. He made no comment on the potential for a Pontiac Firebird version of the car.
Before GM killed both cars in 2002, the Firebird was a sibling vehicle of the old Camaro. But giving Pontiac a new Firebird appears to be a subject of debate within GM.
John Larson, GM's general manager of Pontiac-Buick-GMC, says he intends to push for a Chevrolet Camaro-type product for Pontiac, possibly to replace the GTO. Pontiac will kill the GTO at the end of this model year. But company insiders have said Pontiac will not get a Firebird.
Independent rear suspension
Wagoner did not offer many technical details, but he did say the new Camaro would have an independent rear suspension system to improve handling. That is a feature that Mustang fans clamored for but did not get.
High-performance variants of the Camaro will likely be powered by a version of GM's classic small block V-8 engine -- such as the one used in the outgoing GTO, which developed 400 hp.
The 2009 Camaro will share some styling cues with the 1969 model, but GM does not view it as a retro car, Wagoner said. The goal of the new car's styling was to appeal to those who like the '69 model, along with younger buyers, he said.
Since showing the concept version of the Camaro at the Detroit auto show, GM has been flooded with requests to build the car and has been offered deposits by enthusiasts.
It took GM about eight months to make a business case for the Camaro. Wagoner said today that he agreed with GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz's assessment that the company could sell 100,000 Camaros a year. Ford Motor Co. sold 100,995 Mustangs through July of this year.
GM was widely expected to approve the car for production. In April, a Detroit area GM dealer even started advertising the car for sale.
|08-11-2006, 08:18 AM||#27|
Drives: 2000 Z71
Join Date: Jun 2006
What an awesome thing to read in my e-mail. You can bet that I will be at the head of the line to order mine. Unlike some of you I think the wait will not be so bad. It will give them more time to test and tune the car before it hits the streets. Besides, both my truck and boat will be paid for by then and that means more money for upgrades on the Camaro!!!!
|08-11-2006, 08:36 AM||#28|
Drives: 1998 Chevy Camaro
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lexington, KY
It is great news that the Camaro is going into production with very few changes to the concept design. I want one so bad I can't stand it however I am disappointed that GM is waiting until 2009 to make it available. I have a 1998 Camaro that I am looking to trade in a year or two. GM needs to move the release date to summer 2008 at the latest. Why does GM insist on being the last one to enter the market. As bad as I want a new Camaro if I have to trade and get something else first then GM will just lose a customer.
|08-11-2006, 07:11 PM||#29|
Read the last Paragraph. So true.
It's a Go: GM Dealers Will Have the New Camaro by Early 2009
Date posted: 08-10-2006
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — In GM Chairman Rick Wagoner's own words from an interview earlier this year, if the company didn't build the Chevy Camaro it would be essentially brain dead.
Consider this a sign of life: Production of the new Camaro will start in late 2008, with sales beginning in the first quarter of 2009.
Wagoner said the production Camaro will be virtually identical to the concept car. By the time it arrives in showrooms, the retro-look Camaro will be competing against several other latter-day muscle cars, including the reincarnated Dodge Challenger and the Ford Mustang, including at least two Shelby variants.
In making the announcement at a management seminar here, Wagoner got positively gushy: "The overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to the Camaro Concept continues to remind me of the uniquely iconic place our products can have in customers' hearts. Camaro is much more than a car; it symbolizes America's spirit and its love affair with the automobile."
But as for a possible Pontiac Firebird sibling, Wagoner told IL, "Everybody is just going to have to drive Chevys this time."
The 2009 Camaro will feature a traditional front-engine, rear-drive layout, with all-independent suspension. A variety of trim levels will be available, with a choice of V6 and V8 engines as well as six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
The new Camaro will ride on GM's corporate Zeta platform and is expected to be assembled at the company's Oshawa, Ontario plant.
As previously reported, much of the engineering for the Camaro will come from Holden, GM's Australian arm.
Holden is responsible for developing the next rear-wheel-drive platform, called the Zeta. GM also has key design staff in Australia helping to make sure the production Camaro looks as good as the concept.
What this means to you: Muscle car fans, rejoice! Your dreams of a return to 1970 have come true: Production Mustangs, Challengers and Camaros will soon challenge each other at stop lights across the country.
|08-11-2006, 08:11 PM||#30|
TRAVERSE CITY, MI – General Motors Corp. will build a production version of the Camaro concept that bowed at January’s North American International Auto Show, CEO Rick Wagoner confirms here at the Management Briefing Seminars.
After showing a clip of himself on the CBS news show “60 Minutes” broadcast some months ago saying “If we didn’t try to build this we might be brain dead,” Wagoner deadpans to the audience: “I guess this shows we’re not brain dead.”
The car will be designed in the U.S., engineered in Australia and built in North America. Production will begin near the end of 2008, and the car will go on sale in first-quarter 2009.
Wagoner would not specify the production site for the car but says it will be built in North America, adding that the customer does not care where a car is made.
GM’s Oshawa, Ont., Canada, plant widely is considered a favorite to land the program. In addition to the Canadian Auto Workers’ agreement to contract changes in March, the union reportedly is ready to offer 2,500 early retirement packages in Oshawa once confirmation is received the plant will build the car.
New Camaro reminds GM CEO Rick Wagoner of his first car: a '73 Camaro.
The production car will be almost identical to the concept, which is a modern interpretation of the ’69 model, Wagoner emphasizes, adding it will be rear-drive, have an independent rear suspension and be available in a variety of models with a choice of manual and automatic transmissions and V-6 and V-8 engines.
Wagoner tells the audience his first car was a ’73 Camaro he bought for $3,500, money earned by cutting lawns at $2 apiece.
“That’s a lot of grass clippings,” he quips.
|08-14-2006, 02:36 PM||#35|
Camaro to roar back on scene in 2009
GM to bring back legendary coupe
Oshawa in running to build new model
Aug. 11, 2006. 01:00 AM
TONY VAN ALPHEN
The buzz has turned into a roar for the legendary Chevrolet Camaro but some analysts are already wondering whether the growling will wind down to a whimper when the legendary muscle sports car finally arrives in showrooms.
Rick Wagoner, chief executive for General Motors Corp., announced yesterday the struggling auto maker will start selling the Camaro coupe again in early 2009 after a seven-year absence.
The move follows big buzz at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January for the Camaro concept.
However, analysts said, among other things, the model could be coming to the muscle car party too late to make any lasting noise in a shifting marketplace.
"There is some serious downside," said auto watcher Dennis DesRosiers.
Wagoner didn't disclose where GM will build the Camaro but its pending flexible manufacturing complex in Oshawa and a sports car plant in Wilmington, Del., are the leading candidates.
Analysts argue it will be difficult for GM because rivals already have a good head start in the small muscle car segment; low and high-end roadsters are cutting into the niche; expensive insurance dampens interest and fuel prices show no sign of easing for the traditional gas guzzlers.
The success of the Ford Mustang in recent years renewed interest by rivals but, DesRosiers said, the number of models will make it tougher to make money.
Mustang sales in Canada and the U.S. topped 170,000 last year. Seeing the potential, DaimlerChrysler reincarnated the Dodge Charger and is bringing back the Challenger in 2008.
Meanwhile, numerous companies from DaimlerChrysler to BMW have introduced roadsters to their lineups in recent years. Those vehicles cater to the particular needs and desires of consumers who might have also considered a muscle car in the past, according to analysts.
In GM's case, the company can't keep up with demand for the Pontiac Solstice sports car. It also produces the popular Saturn Sky. Auto watchers say the Camaro's return will result in some "cannibalization" within the GM lineup of sports cars.
Consumers have also shifted to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles because of record gasoline prices in the U.S. and Canada. That continues to reduce the potential for muscle cars, according to analysts.
"Oil prices will likely stay in the $65 (U.S.) a barrel range for the next year or so," said Carlos Gomes, senior economist and auto industry specialist at Scotiabank. "I think it will be somewhat of a head wind for the muscle car segment."
But those factors are not deterring GM. It says the 2009 Camaro version will not only appeal to fans from a generation ago but women and younger drivers.
The car features V-6 or V-8 front engines with up to 400 horsepower, independent rear suspension, manual or automatic transmission and some of the same distinct Camaro styling cues from a generation ago including long hood, short deck and wide stance.
Wagoner said the Camaro, which went out of production in 2002 after a 35-year run, generated an overwhelming positive response with the showing in Detroit and reminded him of the "iconic place our products can have in customers' hearts."
"Camaro is much more than a car," he said. "It symbolizes America's spirit and its love affair with the automobile."
Insiders say the Camaro could be a "halo car" that would help attract customers to other GM models and boost overall sales.
"In that way, it could be very significant for GM," said DesRosiers.
He said sales of the Camaro should easily surpass 100,000 annually in the first two years but the model needs to maintain that level in subsequent years to justify the investment.
DesRosiers, president of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, said critics question whether it would have made more business sense for GM to invest in big volume models than a niche product like the Camaro, regardless of its halo potential.
GM has not announced the names of the models for the manufacturing complex in Oshawa later this decade.
Insiders say the complex will likely build two or three high volume rear-wheel drive, mid-size models and possibly the Camaro.
GM built the aging Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird sports car at its Ste. Thérèse, Que. assembly plant, but closed the operation in August 2002 because of declining sales.
|10-28-2006, 06:22 PM||#36|
69 Camaro lover
Drives: 1969 Camaro
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: FdL, Wisconsin
That just made my day!!!! NOW wheres the waiting list