Chevrolet isn’t all too happy about the sales performance of their staple muscle car, the Camaro, as there have been reports of the development programme responsible for the next-generation model being shelved indefinitely. This means that once the current car’s lifecycle runs out of steam around 2023, there might not be another waiting in the wings.
At least, that’s the claim Muscle Cars And Trucks are peddling, who assert that multiple inside sources within General Motors have confirmed the company is seriously doubting the viability of the Camaro, especially with regard to its place within its future product roadmap.
This is in pretty stark contrast to the situation in Dearborn, where Mustang remains a strong seller both within North America and abroad. Is the car’s more widespread availability, or lack thereof, to blame for its struggling to keep pace with the Ford?
Should the axing of the Camaro from the Chevy line-up come to pass, it certainly won’t be the first time a strategic move sent its head rolling. The last time such a hiatus took hold of the Camaro was 2002, and many thought the triumphant return of the Camaro back in 2010 (engineered with no small help from Holden) would be the perfect foil to rising demand for the (then 5th-generation) Mustang and muscle cars in general.
Rather, it’s been the case year after year that the Chevrolet product, while rather competent and even more appealing in some ways, just cannot unseat the pony from its throne. It’s clear that both cars compete directly, offering both driving sharpness and old school muscle car thrills in modern trappings.
The parallels are have become even more pronounced since the introduction of the all-new 6th-generation Camaro where it transitioned from the ageing Zeta foundation to the fresher Alpha underpinnings. However, since its return, annual sales numbers have been in a steady decline.
Going forward, though, the company would want to streamline most of its larger rear-drive road cars to the yet newer A2XX platform, just like the Cadillac ATS and CTS are. But while the rest of the GM portfolio is more or less slated to undergo this transition, the Camaro’s inclusion on that list isn’t guaranteed.
A possible reason to the Camaro’s lacklustre figures could be pointed toward Chevrolet’s other two-door muscle-like sports car, the Corvette. To the average buyer, the pair could pose a vexing dilemma: both are sporty two-doors that can be had as a coupe or convertible; engine (usually a V8 and identical) at the front, rear-wheel drive, pretty quick through from a dead start and in corners.
Ford buyers, on the other hand, have just one direction to look when hit with the same impulse to buy a sporty American-made muscle car. In some ways, then, the upcoming C8 Corvette, which will sport a mid-engine layout for the first time, could be differentiated enough to swing the pendulum back in the Camaro’s favour. But with the car seeming to already be on the way out, is it too late to be saved?
HSV pretty much as a monopoly for Camaros here, better grab one while they last.