The Chevrolet Camaro was originally birthed to counter the overwhelming popularity of the Ford Mustang. The Camaro was produced with a clear run from late 1966-2002, then from 2009 to the present day. There have been plenty of standout Camaros along the way, such as the ‘SS’, ‘RS’, and ‘ZL1’, but in recent years sales have been flagging.
From current sales reports, Dodge and Ford have the most sales with the Camaro lagging behind. At the end of Q3 2021, Camaro sales fell 32.13% from 22,226 to 15,084 units. Ford Mustang sales also dropped 13.8% from 47,637 to 41,065 units in the same period, while the Dodge Charger and Challenger had an increase of 14.67% to 15.1%. Dodge holds a 65.3% muscle car market share, while Ford has 25.4% and Chevrolet 9.3%.
We Need Another Transformers Movie.
The Chevrolet Camaro has arguably one of the best designs since its late sixties form. Models such as the ZL1 1LE have 650HP+, so power levels aren’t a problem. Plus, the Camaro has a long racing history going back to the original Trans-Am series in the late nineteen sixties.
Therefore, the public perception could be a factor. Dodge has the Demon and the Hellcat. Both of these models unapologetically pour on the power and insanity. The Ford Mustang has its iconic status and is also bolstered by native hand drive sales throughout Europe. The Camaro on the other hand is still an exotic import over the water, and while it has iconic history, it’s now trying to be all things to all men – part pony/muscle car and sports car.
The Transformers movie franchise gave the Camaro a shot in the arm. But as the movies were aimed mostly at kids, we need a few more decades for those kids to mature and buy their own Camaros.
Chevrolet also recently released a holiday film depicting the poignant scenes of a classic 1966 Chevy Impala as seen below. The ad. pulled on the old heartstrings, but cynical me only got from the message, do up that old classic you have in the barn instead of leaving it to rot. If the daughter had turned up in a brand-new ZL1 1LE and stated, ‘it’s what mother would have wanted.’ I’m sure a few more Camaros would have flown out of dealerships.
But if we stick with the nostalgia of the classic market, it seems the Mopars and Fords still grab the headlines. A 1965 Shelby Mustang GT 350R Competition R Model 5R002 prototype is heading to the Mecum auction and is being touted as the world’s most valuable Mustang. There are of course some tasty Camaros in the auction such as a pristine 1969 RS Z28, but more headline getters are needed in the Chevy department overall.
Onwards and Upwards
The next phase of the pony/muscle car evolution seems to be electric. Dodge has already announced their EV intentions from 2024, while Ford is already acclimatizing everyone to an electric Mustang via the Mach-E. The Camaro is likely to follow suit with a hybrid or fully electric version in the near future, but their plans aren’t as publicly solid as the other two makers.
For such a long-standing vehicle, the Chevrolet Camaro isn’t going away anytime soon. Chevy may be holding their cards close to their chest with future plans for the Camaro. But it’s more than likely big news will be coming soon concerning the Camaro’s future intentions……
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