On the wave of J.D.Powers and Associates 2006 Vehicle Dependability Study on August 9th, General Motors announced one day later that it will put into production the dramatic vehicle that they had on show at this years North American International Auto Show, the Chevrolet Camaro. The long awaited return of Chevy’s muscle car has prompted many an enthusiast to bombard the corporate Blog demanding its return.
Since the demise of the fourth generation Camaro in 2002 with a little over 42,000 units being sold, the pony car war was handed over to Ford Motor Company who now has the segment totally to itself with the Mustang. With Dodge expecting to bring to market its own vehicle, the Dodge Challenger in early 2009 to compete with the Ford Mustang what was GM to do. There can be only one answer, bring back the Camaro.
Rick Wagoner in his statement said, “The Camaro would commence production late in 2008 and be on sale in the first quarter of 2009.” The likelihood that the production vehicle will be very close to the concept will only wet the appetite for those already chomping at the bit. Couple this with improved fuel economy, better fit and finish and a rear wheel drive platform, things are certainly taking a turn for the better. Available in V6 or V8 format with stick or automatic transmissions. I can already see the next headline from the Pontiac brethren, “Where is our Firebird.”
With the Australian arm of GM, Holden, being the RWD specialists they will get the engineering task of bringing the Camaro to market with “no compromises” in the words of Bob Lutz, with North America getting the job of productionisation of the design. This can only be good news for everyone who is a diehard muscle car fan and no doubt in 2009, when the first cars come to market, we are going to see some extraordinary sale figures for both GM and DaimlerChrysler. Ford may be enjoying it’s solo existence as of now but those days are number as the pony war is soon to heat up.