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End of the Line: Chevy Builds its Last Camaro – for Now

by | December 18, 2023

Chevy performance fans might be weeping a bit this week. The last Camaro coupe has rolled off the assembly line, less than a month after the final convertible version. But could there be a resurrection in store? More from Headlight.News.

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS

After a seven-year absence, Chevrolet brought back the Camaro for the 2010 model-year.

Of course, the demise of the Chevrolet Camaro wasn’t entirely a surprise. The bowtie brand has been signaling for months that production was winding for both the coupe and convertible versions of the Camaro, a victim of steadily declining sales. But Chevy’s original plans called for Camaro to fade off into the sunset sometime in January 2024.

This isn’t the first time Chevrolet culled the Camaro from its line-up. First launched in 1996, it was pulled off the line 36 years later. Then, after a seven-year hiatus, Camaro came back for the 2010 model-year. The big question is whether it will rise, phoenix-like, once again.

Rise of the phoenix?

In a new statement marking the end of Camaro’s long run, Chevy didn’t really offer much insight, saying, “Camaro is a passion product. It has developed a fan base across the world and has brought people into Chevrolet dealerships for generations. The sixth generation specifically represented athleticism and composure – exuding confidence on the road and dominance on the track.”

2010 Chevrolet Camaro Transformers Special Edition

The Camaro had a stories history, often appearing in film and TV shows, such as the original Transformers movie.

But global brand boss Scott Bell was a bit more upbeat back in March when he hinted that, “While we are not announcing an immediate successor today, rest assured, this is not the end of Camaro’s story.”

That’s triggered plenty of speculation about the storied nameplate’s future. The most frequent speculation suggests that a seventh-generation Chevrolet Camaro would reappear in electrified form.

Electric muscle

Parent General Motors has already made clear that an all-electric version of the Chevy Corvette is in the works. But there’s also a hybrid version, the E-Ray, that’s generated a flood of orders the automaker is struggling to catch up on.

For the last several years, GM has said it will be transitioning to an all-EV future by 2035. And it dropped all hybrids and plug-in hybrids – with the exception of the Corvette E-Ray. Now, however, as EV sales growth has flattened out, GM insiders tell Headlight.News that the automaker is rethinking its strategy. Well-placed sources have confirmed there will be HEVs and PHEVs coming to the Chinese and Latin American markets, and quite possibly to the U.S., as well.

Dodge Charger Daytona

There’s plenty of speculation Chevy could bring Camaro back in all-electric form, much like Dodge will do, based off this Charger Daytona EV concept.

If it were to go all-electric, GM has several versions of its Ultium architecture that could be used for a seventh-generation Camaro.

More performance car news

Future options

Of course, in today’s SUV-crazed environment one key question is whether Camaro would return in coupe/convertible form or, like Ford’s Mustang Mach-E, whether Chevy would opt for a crossover design.

We do know that there’ll be more electrified performance products to come, and for at least one good reason. Electric motors can make gobs of horsepower, and they deliver essentially 100% of their torque the moment they start spinning.

That’s why Dodge is counting on winning back fans of its classic muscle car line up when it revives the Charger nameplate for 2025. The production model will hew closely to the design of the Charger Daytona EV concept introduced two years ago.

A storied history

1967 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

An original 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible.

Camaro’s history dates back to the mid-1960s, when Chevrolet desperately needed to respond to the explosive debut of the Ford Mustang. Rumors began circulating in mid-1965 that Chevy was working on a project codenamed Panther. It didn’t issue a confirmation until June 1966 when the largest GM division sent a notice to journalists asking them to attend a briefing. “Hope you can be on hand to help scratch a cat,” it read.

The first-generation Camaro went on sale that September and ran through 1969. For the following three decades, and four more generations, Chevy’s pony car shared underpinnings with the Pontiac Firebird. But with sales plummeting fast, both models were heading for oblivion by the start of the new millennium. Camaro, in particular, ended its run in the 2002 model year.

It was clear, however, that GM insiders wanted to bring the Chevy muscle car back. But GM’s worsening finances – capped by the 2010 bankruptcy saw the Pontiac brand – along with Saab, Saturn and Hummer – abandoned. The Camaro that roared back in late 2009 as a 2010 model would have to shoulder a lot of weight. All the more so considering the fact that millions of American motorists were migrating from sedans, coupes and sports cars to SUV and CUVs.

After peaking at 88,249 in 2011, sales of the sixth-generation Chevy Camaro have fallen off the cliff, at just 24,652 for all of 2022.

Last of the breed

The final 2023 Camaro coupe is a ZL1 1LE with a manual transmission. Sadly, Chevy hasn’t yet released any pictures.

We’ll have to wait to see what Chevy has in store next, among other things for racing series like NASCAR, where it’s long been the automaker’s model of choice.


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