Here's why they killed it.

Discussion in '2002 Chevrolet Camaro SS 35th Anniversary' started by DANVM, Nov 3, 2002.

  1. In 1994, production totaled over 170,000. By 1996, that number dropped to under 100,000 units, and, five years later, fewer than 60,000 were built. Considering the declining numbers, we can see why the last of these storied American ponycars rolled off the line on August 29, 2002.

    Why did sales drop so far and so fast? For one thing, the cars lost their original market. In 1991, over 33 percent of six-cylinder Camaro buyers were under the age of 30; by 2001, only half as many were that young. During the same decade, the median age for F-body buyers increased by 10 years. The cars weren't attracting new buyers; they were going to same buyers in diminishing numbers.

    Price, for younger enthusiasts, was also a contributor. Z28 models represented well over 50 percent of the Camaros built this final year, and over half of them were equipped with the SLP Super Sport package, a combination carrying a sticker price exceeding $30,000. A fully dressed Trans Am convertible reached almost $40,000.

    Competition also had a hand in the sales drop. New entries, like the Mitsubishi Eclipse, Toyota Celica, and, to a lesser extent, the Supra, provided new competition at the top and bottom of the line. Honda Civic hatchbacks capture young buyers with their affordability, economy, proven reliability, and outstanding quality. In smaller numbers, cars like VW's New Beetle and GTI skimmed their share, too.

    Then there's the F-body's original rival, the Mustang. Styled in a less rakish, more upright fashion, Mustangs are sporty four-passenger cars with similar performance at price points consistently below comparable Camaros and Firebirds. Though, less aggressive and not as quick, the Mustang offers more refinement in an easier-to-live-with package than the GM entries.

    Product reviews on these pages and others also identified issues that turned off some prospects. Simply stated, fourth-generation F-bodies weren't accommodating cars. Though sleek to the eye, they were less friendly to the user. The steep windshield angle and a decision to make the nearly uninhabitable rear seat more accessible led to doors that reached into the next zip code when fully opened. The cabin was cramped with visibility hampered by the low seating position, high beltline, and thick C-pillars. The front-seat-passenger's footwell had an ungainly lump to clear the catalytic converter, and overriding cheapness of the switchgear and touch zones was consistently noted.

    If those were the downsides, the upside was the traditional F-body strength: tire-melting bang for your buck. Even in their final years, the Z28s and Trans Ams easily outran competition from Ford and the imports.

    GM saw the writing on the wall--or put it there. Either way, the corporation didn't see fit to invest in new, scratch-built F-cars that could compete with the best of the imports and an upcoming all-new Mustang. It was a curious decision made during GM's era of Brand Management: consciously killing off two of its most legendary brands.

    In the final analysis, the F-body cars went away because they were too reminiscent of cars from the '70s--booming engines and not a lot of subtlety. They leave the market as testimony to the reality of cohort theory: They attract a diminishing number of buyers because the cars remain true to their original appeals, but these appeals aren't attractive to younger buyers in the new millennium.

    Will the F-cars reappear? Spokespersons for Chevrolet and Pontiac point to the renaissance of other, once-retired nameplates like GTO and Impala, making the point that there could be new Camaros or Firebirds in the future. If and when there are, both divisions make it clear the cars would be consistent with the heritage of performance. It's a noble goal, but flawed if the executions aren't competitively consistent in modern terms.

    Future or no, the Camaro and Firebird's passing is a loss, nonetheless.
     
  2. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    Damn. Looks like a "B" son. Beef it up with some graphs and we'll talk.

    Can I get you to write my senior paper for me???
     
  3. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    Funny thing is, I see more teenagers and young adults driving camaro's than folks over 30.
     
  4. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    Yep<A BORDER="0" HREF="http://www.supercars.net/emoticons.html"><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="http://speed.supercars.net/cboardhtml/emoticons/smile.gif"></A>
     
  5. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    So sorry...
     
  6. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    well if their loosing sales then they should do something with the looks... they shouldve at least tried... i wish they didnt discontinue it...
     
  7. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    you lying son of a ***** i'm the owner of screaming chicken thing
     
  8. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    oh well, that would have been nice
     
  9. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    Yes, Camaros were attractive cars, yet, many mistakes.
    High insurance and a nasty interior contributed to the fall of the F-bodies. Especially with competition from the Mustang, which didn't perform as well, but also has a better interior and a better warranty plan, put down the F-bodies.
    I don't know about the reminiscent part. These cars look way too different from their 60's counter-parts. Besides, even young customers have a thing for 60's and 70's muscle machines.
     
  10. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    Yes, he took this essay right out of a magazine just to sound more intellectual than he really is, u plagerism practicing bastard!!!! <A BORDER="0" HREF="http://www.supercars.net/emoticons.html"><IMG BORDER="0" SRC="http://speed.supercars.net/cboardhtml/emoticons/smile.gif"></A>
     
  11. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    I'm sorry but the mid to late 70s was the worst time for all cars, EVER. Low power, terrible efficiency, ugly, heavy, but 60s and very early 70s were good. But when it all comes down to it, the top of the line SS now would beat any Old SS on every performance level, Acceleration, handing, braking, and not to mention, GAS MILEAGE, skid pad, slalom, everything. That's why I like technology.
     
  12. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    yup. i remember watching a show on speedvision about the mustangs production level going so low and then they made a great new look in the mid 90's and they shot back up. the camaro seems to have done it this year but too bad the production stopped :'(
     
  13. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    CAN ANY ONE TELL ME WHY THEY DONT HAVE CHEVELLES OR A NOVA SS ON HERE? I WANT TO KNOW THAT!?
     
  14. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    Seriously....must everyone copy and paste what everyone else has already done? Geeez.

    Anyway, the interiors are not NASTY. If you have seen a Trans Am, they are quite racey and nice looking. The new SS Camaros interior isn't bad either, I Like the T/A better, but they are all good. And that whole line about "cheap plastic" blah blah...straight from a magazine quote. Good job.
     
  15. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    Why couldn't they give it one more chance.
     
  16. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    Mustangs are a dime a dozen everyone has one.I hate the cheap plastic cockpits.
     
  17. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    I might be me coming from europe but I just can't understand why you all like these camerro's this much. I mean I can understand why u like mustangs because they look jibberish but, if i would have had about 40000 US dollars i'd by a 2e hand car and mod the shit out of it.
     
  18. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    hey, dumbass, we're not discussing the mustang here. But if you insist... you obviously werent listening, the camaros are gone because the mustangs are "a dime a dozen" because they outsold the camaros and firebirds (combined) two to one. The game the auto companies play is one of numbers, not one of making the fastest car, although if they can make a quick car for cheap they will. You show your stupidity in your second comment as well. If you have ever sat in a mustang you would realize they are anything but cheap plastic, although I will give you this they are not nearly as racey or sporty as a newer camaro SS or T/A.
     
  19. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    You type too much dude. Those Eclipse and Civics and those cars you said only apeal to teenagers who are asian. Other people dont want to put 40,000 into their car and still lose to a stock car that cost 1/2 the total cost.

    They stoped because in 4 years the Camaro is coming back redesigned. My buddies dad works for Chevy.
     
  20. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    i just hope they dont pull a ford and bring back the old shape

    dont get me wrong...i love the first gen to death...in fact *IT* is my favourite car over anything new/old...but i think ford made a huge mistake by bringing back the old looks...hopefully chevy wont do the same...the concept pictures floating around are sexy but i think itd be a stupid idea
     
  21. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    Every once in a while I see a guy in his 40s or 50s driving one. But for the most part, I see teens and young adults driving them too.
     
  22. Re: Here's why they killed it.

    the mustang could also get the same performance and still cost less, it also was more of an eye opener than the camaro which doesnt draw much attention on the street. gm was coming out with newer cars and probably didnt have the time to redesign the camaro but i bet they come back better than ever, ready to compete with the mustang and the euro cars. they beter make it fast and around the 30 grand mark so they can match the cobra and the new gts which are comin out, pretty impresive car. all im sayin is hang on tight cuz it will come back with a bang.
     
  23. The camaro is coming back in 2007 i read it on camaro magazine but the firebird is still out
     

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