Uh Oh… GM’s Chevy Camaro Is a Hit!

GM's latest problem: success

GM's latest problem: success

GM has a big problem: Its new Chevy Camaro is a huge hit.

With over 18,000 confirmed orders, GM has added a Saturday shift at the plant in Ontario that’s building the Camaro during a time when most other plants will close for the summer months because of an overflow of unsold inventory.

In past years the execs at GM would toast each other, pat each other on the back, and possibly even fill a swimming pool with hundred-dollar bills and invite bikini girls to frolic in it.

Now, though, the success of the Camaro could become a problem. After all, muscle cars and V8 engines aren’t supposed to be popular anymore. The people of the world have spoken, and they’ve said they want small hybrid or electric cars. The U.S. government is retooling the entire U.S. auto industry around that fact that Americans want cars like the Fiat 500, not the Camaro.

But then there are those 18,000 orders. They’re certainly not enough to save GM from bankruptcy, but definitely enough to raise suspicions about America’s so-called desire for small cars.

What if GM and Chrysler begin pumping out ideal examples of efficient, Euro-cool hatchbacks, hybrids, and electrics… and the American people say, “Oh, nevermind, we’re off the small-car kick. We want trucks and Camaros again.”

The government would have to print up billions more dollars to save the automakers all over again, all because someone overreacted when they heard – or thought they heard, “We want small cars.”

Maybe the U.S. automakers should have been left alone to thrive or sink on their own, to let the market decide their fate. But then they might’ve gone bankrupt if we left them alone. Hmmm….

Regardless, the Camaro looks like it’ll be a huge sales hit, which begs the question: 

Does the success of the Camaro show there’s a strong market for well-built American muscle, or is it a fluke?

-tgriffith

5 Comments

  1. Very very true Randy. Sports cars dont sell high volume. Toyota got rid of all of theirs.

  2. 18,000 orders constitutes a hit? Dream on Sonny. That’s a piddling response to GM’s tribute to the viagra-popping over-the-hill mob. (Let by Bob Lutz, the king of male menopause.) The Camaro took a long time to go into production because of the problems (I know, I worked on some of them) and this vehicle is a rolling confirmation of exactly what is killing GM.

    Ask yourself this: Does GM need another niche vehicle that might sell 40,000 copies a year, or does it need a mass volume hit like Toyota’s Camry? Either one costs about the same to engineer and validate. GM needs mass market products that sell in the hundreds of thousands per year to survive.

  3. Camaro’s, Corvettes, Challengers, Mustangs etc will always sell decently because there is so much history/nostalgia around them for people. If they called the camaro something completely different but it was the same car I’m sure it would still sell but not anywhere near where the camaro sells because of the name.

    I wonder as time goes on if the lust over these classics will go away or if it will be as strong as it always has been. Its easy to think it will, but who knows?

  4. Ha! You’re right, can you imagine!? I’d almost delight in the irony of seeing America not buy all these new effecient cars after all this work. And good call… the govt. gets involved and they still go bankrupt.

  5. I don’t think it’s a fluke. I think consumers will not only by well-built American muscle, but they will be also buy well-built American ANYTHING. Period. If GM put as much thought, engineering and style into the rest of their line up as they did with this Camaro (which seemed like an eternity to get in production) then they should be a-ok!

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