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?