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Thread: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    GM says the new Camaro will arrive sometime in 2008 as a 2009 model - so roughly two years from now.

    It faces several challenges:

    * Ford has maintained continuity/buyer loyalty for the Mustang - and carved out a large chunk of the "ponycar" market for itself;

    * Meanwhile, import sport compacts continue to rise in popularity among younger buyers - most of whom are too young to remember the old Camaro of the '60s and '70s and don't have any connection to traditional RWD/V-8 muscle cars;

    * Two years is a long time; the current interest in retro-themed V-8 performance cars may have dropped considerably by 2009 - especiallyif gas prices go back up to $3 or so per gallon;

    * GM needs to achieve decent volume to make the car viable; as the GTO's failure (and before that, the decline in sales of the last generation Camaro/Firebird) showed, this is not easy to do with a specialty-type car that by its nature has a limited potential market;

    My bet is it will be a very short-lived car. From what I've seen of it, its styling is too aggressively polarizing to expand its appeal significantly beyond young single guys - and many of them will have already bought a Mustang (or an import sport compact). GM might be able to pull a hat trick if it can price the Z28 around $22k - which would undercut the Mustang GT significantly and make the car more accessible to young guys - who would otherwise be priced out of the market.

    Fundamentally, though, I see Camaro as a car of a different time that doesn't have the evergreen appeal Ford has managed to imbue the Mustang with through the years. It's an icon - but doesn't translate well to today's world. And the market realities of the early 21st century.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    JohnB
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Thoughts?
    They don't learn, do they?.... Still eating their young. ;D

  3. #3
    rc74racer
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    If they produce the same camaro I've been seeing it will be a flop. If they wake up and make it a true retro ride like the mustang and basically make it look like a new version of a 69 rs/ss they will sell a ton of them. The GTO was a flop because they thought they could just rebadge some australian car with a GTO emblem and everyone would run out and buy one. I still like the GTO it's a great bang for the buck but I'd like it even more if they would have rebodied it like a 69 GTO with hideaways I'll bet that car would still be in the line up and selling well. GM will also have competition from dodge who should have a challenger out by then right? The execs at GM are a bunch of morons producing some of the most uninspiring rides in terms of looks on the market today. I do like a few of them like the solstice, sky, corvette and a few caddies but for the most part I'm really disappointed with what GM is bringining to the showroom.

  4. #4
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    The one good model that GM has at the moment (that mere mortals can afford) is the Pontiac Solstice / Saturn Sky.

    But even so, those cars need some help -- they're too heavy, and the interiors are low-rent.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    Quote Originally Posted by rc74racer
    If they produce the same camaro I've been seeing it will be a flop. If they wake up and make it a true retro ride like the mustang and basically make it look like a new version of a 69 rs/ss they will sell a ton of them. The GTO was a flop because they thought they could just rebadge some australian car with a GTO emblem and everyone would run out and buy one. I still like the GTO it's a great bang for the buck but I'd like it even more if they would have rebodied it like a 69 GTO with hideaways I'll bet that car would still be in the line up and selling well. GM will also have competition from dodge who should have a challenger out by then right? The execs at GM are a bunch of morons producing some of the most uninspiring rides in terms of looks on the market today. I do like a few of them like the solstice, sky, corvette and a few caddies but for the most part I'm really disappointed with what GM is bringining to the showroom.
    You and me both; and I've been a Gm guy for a lot of years - but nothing in their current portfolio really does much for me. I think Camaro's one of those cars that should left to the era it was born in - like the GTO...

  6. #6
    rc74racer
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    I've always loved camaros and I was disgusted when GM did away with the camaro and firebird. There is not a generation that at least doesn't have some limited appeal to me. I saw another version of the 09 camaro today in Hot Rod and I'm not impressed at all. The lines are there but the front and rear do not look good. I've always been a GM guy myself but they need an overhaul.

    I drove a monte carlo ss the other day and the ride was good, sound was good, engine had good power and speed but it looks like crap. Same old piece they've been making for how many years now? How can you produce the sky or corvette on one hand and the impala and monte carlo with the other? Makes no sense to me!

  7. #7
    JohnB
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    Quote Originally Posted by rc74racer
    How can you produce the sky or corvette on one hand and the impala and monte carlo with the other? Makes no sense to me!
    They are made to meet a price and fill a slot on the line-up.

  8. #8
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    It does to me!

    Corvette has a small team of enthusiasts devoted to its development; Saturn is also coming around - for the same reason. The Impala, onthe other hand, is just another Chevy in the portfolio - so it gets compromised to a greater extent.

    On Camaro: The last (4th gen.) cars were not well-designed. Polarizing styling, too large on the outside relative to the size of the interior. Same issues with the new car - and the additional problem of GM having cut the chain between the last models (2002) and the next. A gap of seven years is huge; enough to piss away a good bit of the potential core audience, who have since gone elswhere. Also, Camaro's "presence" and "rep" has been diminished by the absence of a car in the market. Again, seven years is a long time; an entire generation of high school/college-age kids have never seen/drive a new Camaro (and so could care less about them). But they love Mustangs - and are eager to buy one...

    I think the only thing that could prevent another flop is if the Z28 is priced at least $2-$3k below the Mustang GT - and even that may not be enough. The current Mustang is a riotous success; GM will have big trouble penetrating that market and getting buyers to shop a Camaro instead.



  9. #9
    rc74racer
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    I understand the whole thing about line ups, prices, etc... but that doesn't mean you have to offer up something uninspiring. I really don't understand where the market demand is for the Monte Carlo no other american car maker offers a mid-size two door. The only people who buy these are nascar fans and rental companies. I would just like to see GM offer up something for the late 20s to early 40s crowd that is inticing. The impala seems aimed at older folks and I thought that is what buick was for? Look at dodge they took styling cues from their flagship the viper and made an entire line up out of it that is exciting. Brand loyalty isn't what is use to be anymore and GM better wake up. I think the camaro is an opportunity for them but they'll most likely screw it up.

    I agree with you Eric on the 4th gen being too big outside considering how small it was inside but I still liked that car. I had a 95z28 with a few mods and there wasn't a mustang around that could touch it. I'm just a GM guy at heart that is looking for someone over there to turn it around. The Tahoe looks good and so does the corvette if they could just inject some excitement into the rest of their line up I might by another GM car.

  10. #10
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    too large on the outside relative to the size of the interior. Same issues with the new car
    Really? I guess I'll have to see one in person to compare interior room vs. exterior bulk.

    Another GM car that had this trait was the Olds Aurora. Great car, but it left you wondering what they did with all that space in the doors & body panels. It looked like you could smuggle South Americans across the border behind the 3rd-quarter interior panels.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  11. #11
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    F-cars (and pony cars in general) are infamous for poor use of space; like the previous Camaro (and Firebird), the new "concept" is a large car on the outside, with smallish back seats not really suitable for anything other than cargo and younger kids. Of course, this is an almost inherent problem with the whole concept; after all, cars like the Camaro are not family cars or intended to be especially practical. My larger concern is that the market for such ars today is much smaller than it was back in 1967 - when most cars were huge tanks (along with a few small oddities like British sports cars, VWs and compact econo-boxes from Japan). For example, the high-performance sport compact niche was nonexistent during Camaro's heyday; today, such cars eat upo a huge chunk of the potential youth market that used to be the pony car market. Next, the whole muscle car thing is old school; fondly remembered mostly by guys in their 40s and older, who can remember the cars of the '70s and even the '60s. 25-year-old kids today grew up with front-drive K-cars and imports; as a group, they have no real connection with muscle cars - so no real affinity for them. Add to this the fact that muscle cars are, relative to sport compacts, considerably more expensive to buy, feed and insure - and the potential buyer pool gets even smaller.

    Who is going to buy the 2009 Camaro? How many 40-something guys can be counted on to buy a snorty muscle car to relive their youths? Enough to make the car viable for GM?

    I don't see it....

  12. #12
    JohnB
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    F-cars (and pony cars in general) are infamous for poor use of space; like the previous Camaro (and Firebird), the new "concept" is a large car on the outside, with smallish back seats not really suitable for anything other than cargo and younger kids. ....
    The manufacturer's do that to avoid the "sports car" classification by the insurance industry. My Miata paid a slightly higher premium than the Mark VIII even though the Mark was newer, faster and bigger. Reason: only 2 seats.

  13. #13
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnB
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    F-cars (and pony cars in general) are infamous for poor use of space; like the previous Camaro (and Firebird), the new "concept" is a large car on the outside, with smallish back seats not really suitable for anything other than cargo and younger kids. ....
    The manufacturer's do that to avoid the "sports car" classification by the insurance industry. My Miata paid a slightly higher premium than the Mark VIII even though the Mark was newer, faster and bigger. Reason: only 2 seats.
    That may play a part, but in this case I think they're just hewing to the concept. Camaroi/Firebird (like all pony cars) has always been a 2--plus-2 (with two limited use rear seats). Making it a 2-seater would be a huge departure from the basic tradition - not to mention an unacceptable threat to Corvette (see Pontiac Banshee, tc.)

    I don't think it's the hard to use rear seats that are the problem; rather it is that Camaro's era has passed. These cars no longer have the buyer base they once enjoyed; there's a lot of competition from import sport compacts that simply didn't exist in the '60s and even into the '70s (with a handful of exceptions like the Celica and Datsun Z car). They're sort of like battleships. Impressive to look at but their time is in the past...

  14. #14
    JohnB
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnB
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    F-cars (and pony cars in general) are infamous for poor use of space; like the previous Camaro (and Firebird), the new "concept" is a large car on the outside, with smallish back seats not really suitable for anything other than cargo and younger kids. ....
    The manufacturer's do that to avoid the "sports car" classification by the insurance industry. My Miata paid a slightly higher premium than the Mark VIII even though the Mark was newer, faster and bigger. Reason: only 2 seats.
    . Impressive to look at but their time is in the past...
    And in their case not impressive enough IMO

  15. #15
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    [quote

    And in their case not impressive enough IMO
    Amen and agreed; I haven't liked them much since the early-mid 1980s versions...

  16. #16
    DonTom
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    GM says the new Camaro will arrive sometime in 2008 as a 2009 model - so roughly two years from now.

    Will the engine still have to be removed to replace the spark plugs?

    -Don-

  17. #17
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    Anythingbeyond basic maintenance on most any new car is a huge PITAS...!

  18. #18
    DonTom
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    Re: 2009 Camaro - cheers or jeers?

    "Anythingbeyond basic maintenance on most any new car is a huge PITAS...!"

    Yes, and changing spark plugs might no longer be considered basic maintenance since they usually last more than 100,000 miles these days. But to have to remove the engine is a little over the line, don't you think?

    What gets me is that the more difficult it is to remove the spark plugs, the less likely the service manuals will mention how it's done. It's as if they don't want to admit what a hassle it is.

    Two years ago, Tommy had a 1996 Camaro but he totaled it out on the way to work when it slipped all over the wet road and crashed into a wall right before Golden Gate Park.

    It was not possible to even see the spark plugs in that vehicle. Not from the top or bottom. That's when I found out from others that the engine must be removed to get to the plugs. That car looked nice but there were many things we didn't like about it, including the hump the passenger has to put up with for where the driveshaft runs. It's rather uncomfortable for a long drive.

    -Don-

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