Monday, January 25, 2010

Chevrolet Camaro stalls to 2011



The Chevrolet Camaro is a sell-out across North America, making an early arrival in local Holden showrooms models unlikely. GM-Holden vice chairman, Alan Batey, now says the sexy two-door will arrive in 2011 ‘at the earliest’.

Other right-hand drive markets like the UK and South Africa will also have to go into bat for the car so that GM-Holden can make a strong business case locally. "The original plan was that it would go to us and the UK and a small volume to South Africa as a halo Chevy," he says.
"It will help if they want the car too."

However, Batey says that because of the strong North American demand, lower volume right-hand drive markets are now a low priority. "The car won't happen in 2010. And we've got our hand up saying we want to do it but we'll have to watch it really closely," he says. "It would be 2011 at the earliest."

The Camaro was engineered and designed in Australia both as a right hand and left-hand drive car, using Commodore underpinnings. "If you like, the car is right hand drive enabled," Batey says. However, the global financial crisis and GM's bankruptcy challenges got in the way of the sleek coupe becoming a true global car.

"It was decided that from a prioritisation perspective it wouldn't hit the priority lists so it fell backwards," Batey says. "From our perspective we've always wanted to do the car."

However, Batey says that like the Monaro "all those type of cars have a very limited lifespan". "They're very, very hot and then they go off," he says. "They do go off fast as the must-have latest thing."

Batey says the car is still on Holden's wishlist "but it's really not in our court, it's really in the court of America". "They are in the situation where the car is red hot over there and the plant is at full capacity," he says.

The Camaro is built at GM's Oshawa plant in Canada. Both V6 and V8 models are available but demand has been strongest for the high end SS V8 models. Currently 80 per cent are V8s.

The plant also builds an entry level direct injection 227kW 3.6-litre V6 that powers some Australian Commodores. A SS shares its 6.2-litre V8 with HSV models sold locally. In the Camaro it develops 318kW.

More than 70,000 Camaros have been sold since it went on sale in March last year. A convertible version is expected to go on sale this year.

source: carsguide