The Chevrolet Camaro has long been a beloved choice among muscle car enthusiasts. Since its initial launch in 1969, the Camaro has gained widespread recognition in the United States, surpassing even the Ford Mustang in popularity. Beyond being just an automobile, the Camaro has become a cultural icon, making appearances in blockbuster films like the Fast and Furious franchise and notably serving as the beloved character Bumblebee in Transformers.
However, the journey of the Chevrolet Camaro took an unexpected turn when General Motors made the decision to discontinue the sixth-generation Camaro lineup, culminating in the final production car being manufactured in 2024. This announcement was confirmed by officials at GM’s Lansing Grand Assembly plant. While there have been hints that the Camaro might make a comeback in the future, it remains uncertain and awaits further confirmation.
Chevrolet’s decision to discontinue the Camaro came as no surprise, as the sixth generation of the Camaro faced significant challenges during its seven-year lifespan. A combination of factors, including declining sales, intense competition, and the rapid advancements in electric cars (EVs), led General Motors to make a difficult choice between cutting losses swiftly or facing even greater risks in the future. In this article, we will examine ten key reasons behind the struggles faced by the Chevrolet Camaro as it fights to remain viable.
10. It costs too much money to create a new type of Camaro right now.
The Camaro is renowned for its exceptional road and track capabilities, exemplifying a design that allows for seamless maneuverability. In fact, the sixth generation Camaro largely built upon the refined features of its predecessor, the fifth generation. While the sixth-gen addressed many of the issues that plagued its predecessor, it unfortunately inherited outdated styling elements and a perception of cheap plastic interiors.
For a considerable period, users expressed dissatisfaction with the lackluster design and interiors of the Camaro, leading to a decline in sales. Consequently, Chevrolet faced resource limitations, making it challenging to invest in developing a new generation of the Camaro. General Motors has announced plans to transition to an all-electric car lineup by 2035, necessitating the allocation of substantial funds for research and development (R&D). In order to prioritize these investments, General Motors must reallocate resources from underperforming nameplates, such as the Camaro.
In addition, General Motors made the decision to discontinue the Alpha platform, which served as the foundation for the Camaro and other cars, including Cadillac models. If a seventh-generation Camaro were to be developed, it would likely be built upon the existing Alpha 2 platform.
9. The Camaro’s cheapest models cost more than similar cars from other brands.
The entry-level models of the sixth-generation Camaro consistently carried a higher price tag compared to both its fifth-generation counterparts and competing models like the Mustang and Challenger. This pricing disparity was evident right from the launch of the sixth-generation in 2016, with the Camaro being priced at a premium of $1,995 over its fifth-generation predecessors.
Similarly, the base LS models of the 2016 Camaro were priced higher than their counterparts, such as the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger R/T. This pricing discrepancy prompted customers to seek more affordable alternatives, contributing to the challenges faced by the Camaro in terms of sales and market competitiveness.
8. The Camaro’s bad interiors make driving it less enjoyable.
One aspect of the Camaro that received frequent criticism from users was the absence of premium materials in the cabin. Given its higher price point compared to competitors and the esteemed reputation of the Camaro nameplate, customers anticipated a more luxurious interior experience. However, Chevrolet fell short of these expectations, delivering an interior that appeared cheap and lacking in quality.
The Camaro’s cabin incorporates several plastic elements, including the gauge cluster and a relatively small infotainment screen, which contribute to a less luxurious impression. Additionally, when compared to its competitors, the Camaro offers a reduced amount of cargo space, further impacting its practicality and overall appeal.
7. The small back seats of the Camaro make it hard for grown-ups to sit comfortably.
While the Camaro is primarily designed for performance rather than family-oriented purposes like grocery runs, the rear seats, if needed, prove to be notably cramped. Legroom is extremely limited, causing visible discomfort for passengers taller than 5 feet 11 inches.
Interestingly, as a counterintuitive strategy, Camaro rear seats are sometimes promoted as additional cargo space to compensate for the lack of legroom. However, this approach can be problematic if passengers cannot find adequate space to accommodate their luggage. It raises the question: if there is insufficient room for cargo, can the same be said for accommodating passengers?
6. The Camaro fell behind other cars in the competition to make electric vehicles.
The public’s acceptance of electric cars (EVs) is currently at an all-time high, representing a significant shift in the automotive industry. This trend has prompted major companies to shift their focus toward an EV-centric future, including within the muscle car segment. Ford, for instance, has introduced the Ford Mach-E, an electric car that is being hailed as an electric muscle car.
Likewise, Dodge has provided a glimpse of its concept EV muscle car, the Dodge Charger EV, which is set to launch in 2024. Notably, Dodge has also emphasized the inclusion of a unique sound signature for the electric muscle car. On the other hand, Chevrolet and its parent company General Motors, based in Detroit, have hinted at the possibility of a future muscle car; however, they are currently in the process of phasing out their current lineup of fuel-based vehicles. As of now, there is no definitive timeframe for the launch of an electric muscle car from Chevrolet, but it remains a possibility in the future.
5. It’s hard to see out of the Camaro when you’re driving it.
One aspect that proves troublesome for Camaro users is the limited visibility from inside the cabin. The design creates a tunnel-like view, resulting in multiple blind spots for the driver.
While some users argue that cabin visibility is subjective and can be managed with time and familiarity, this issue dissuades many potential buyers, especially those who are new to driving a Camaro or have no prior experience with the model. The reduced visibility can be a significant deterrent for those seeking a car with optimal visibility for safety and ease of driving.
4. Chevy cares more about the Corvette than the Camaro.
The Corvette has rightfully earned its reputation as “America’s sports car” due to its impressive power and performance. Meanwhile, the Camaro also offers considerable power, but at a much lower cost compared to the Corvette. This creates a dilemma for Chevrolet, as customers can now purchase a Camaro with nearly the same power as a Corvette but at a significantly lower price.
Furthermore, the Corvette faces a challenge when the Camaro is equipped with high levels of power. In such cases, the price of the Camaro would need to be increased to match the starting price of a Corvette, given the disparity between the two models. Since the Corvette is considered the superior racing car and the sole sports car in Chevrolet’s lineup, this disparity has led Chevy executives to prioritize the Corvette in the long run.
possibility in the future.
3. General Motors didn’t think the Camaro was a good fit for their plans to focus on electric cars.
The executives at GM Renaissance Center have ambitious plans for electric cars (EVs), as evidenced by the recent addition of Zach Kirkman as the Vice President of Corporate Developments. Kirkman brings with him valuable experience from leading mergers and acquisitions in Tesla. It is evident that his presence indicates GM’s intention to pursue mergers and acquisitions of EV technology companies, aligning the company with its electric vision.
Additionally, a significant move within the company’s leadership is the reassignment of Al Oppenheiser, who served as the chief engineer for the Camaro at Chevrolet since 1985. Oppenheiser has now been appointed as the chief engineer for the GMC Hummer EV. This decision clearly indicates that GM executives were hesitant to continue the Camaro nameplate for future endeavors, suggesting a shift in focus within the company’s portfolio of cars.
2. General Motors preferred to make more trucks and SUVs instead of muscle cars.
General Motors has witnessed significant success in the sale of pickup trucks and SUVs, which have been lucrative segments for the company. In 2022, the Chevy Silverado emerged as the top-selling car, with an impressive figure of 513,354 units sold. The Equinox SUV also achieved notable sales, with 212,072 units sold during the same period.
In the sedan category, Chevy experienced a substantial increase in sales for the Malibu, selling 115,467 units. This marks a remarkable 193.24% growth compared to the sales figures of 2021.
However, the Camaro faced challenges in the market, with only 24,652 units sold in 2022. This lower sales figure prompted General Motors to reconsider its strategy for the muscle car segment and question the necessity of selling muscle cars altogether. The disparity in sales between the Camaro and other car categories compelled the company to reassess its approach in the muscle car market.
1. Ford and Dodge are competing hard against each other.
The primary reason for Chevrolet’s decision to discontinue the Camaro nameplate can be attributed to its consistently poor sales performance. Since its launch in 2016, the Camaro has experienced a decline in sales, which can be attributed to the various challenges discussed earlier in this article, as well as intense competition from Ford and Dodge.
In 2022, the sales figures for the Camaro reached a disappointing 24,652 units. In contrast, Ford sold 47,566 units of the Mustang, while Dodge surpassed all other brands in the muscle car segment with an impressive 55,060 units sold. These figures highlight the significant disparity in sales between the Camaro and its competitors, ultimately influencing Chevrolet’s decision to discontinue the model.