End of the Road for the Chevy Camaro

The automaker will stop producing the muscle car, a vehicle symbolizing its ambitions in motorsports.

It’s a very sad ending. An end in total anonymity for a vehicle that has written beautiful pages in the American automotive industry. 

The Chevrolet Camaro leaves the scene long before the final act. 

General Motors  (GM) – Get Free Report and its Chevrolet brand have just announced to everyone’s surprise that the production of this emblematic vehicle, seen as GM’s answer to the iconic Ford Mustang, will stop. The Camaro and the Mustang which are both muscle cars are usually called pony cars, meaning they are affordable compacts that are “sport” or performance-oriented.

“After nine strong model years in the market, with hundreds of thousands sold, the sixth generation Chevrolet Camaro will retire at the conclusion of model year 2024,” the carmaker said in a statement. “The final sixth generation Camaros will come off the assembly line at the Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant in Michigan in January 2024.”

Decrease of  Sales

This announcement comes after a continued decline in muscle car sales. The sixth generation of the Chevrolet Camaro sold 72,705 units when it was launched in 2016, but last year only 24,652 units were sold. A year earlier, sales had even dropped to 21,893 units, which represented a 70% drop in sales in five years.

“As we prepare to say goodbye to the current generation Camaro, it is difficult to overstate our gratitude to every Camaro customer, Camaro assembly line employee and race fan,” said Scott Bell, vice president, Global Chevrolet. “While we are not announcing an immediate successor today, rest assured, this is not the end of Camaro’s story.”

If the Camaro came back it would surely be an electric model because GM plans to sell essentially only electric passenger vehicles worldwide by 2035. 

In the meantime, the Chevrolet Camaro will continue to compete on track, including Nascar, GM said. It will have parts available and the Camaro body will remain serviceable even after the production of the car ceases.

“Chevrolet’s products and our relationship with our customers benefit from motorsports,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president, Performance and Motorsports. “Our plan is to continue to compete and win at the highest levels of auto racing.”

The Era of Electric Vehicles

The Camaro was presented to the press for the first time on September 12, 1966 and arrived at the dealerships on September 29, 1966. It was well received by the press and by the public. 

The range was complete — 2-door coupe or convertible, choice of 5 engines. The customization possibilities were, as with the Ford Mustang, numerous. 

During its first years, the first generation of Camaro had decent sales but not enough  to dethrone the Ford Mustang. It managed to overtake the Mustang for the first time in terms of sales in 1977, posting 218,853 units sold against 153,173 units for its rival.

GM retired the Camaro nameplate in 2002 but brought it back in 2010 by introducing a new model. 

The Camaro is not the only iconic model to suffer from the conversion of traditional automakers to battery powered vehicles (BEV). Stellantis  (STLA) – Get Free Report, Chrysler’s parent company, has decided to stop producing the gas versions of the Dodge Challenger and Charger as well as the Chrysler 300 sedan by the end of this year. 

Ford  (F) – Get Free Report for its part introduced an electric version of the Mustang, dubbed the Ford Mustang Mach E. The car has become one of the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker’s centerpieces in the electric vehicle race.

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