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The Fall and Rise of The Camaro

Aug 18, 2008
After decades of success, Chevrolet killed the Camaro in 2002. In doing so, the company gave up their strong position in the sports car market to Ford's Mustang and the many sports cars coming from Japan. No longer was Chevy the king of American muscle cars. After thirty five years, the Camaro died with a whimper. It was a terrible day for Camaro fans.

Why would Chevy kill an iconic model that was successful for 35 years? Why did the Camaro end? There are two reasons. The Ford Mustang was destroying it in sales and the Chevrolet Camaro lost its way.

In the late nineties and early 2000's it was clear that the Mustang was having much better sales than the Camaro. The Ford Mustang went from being underpowered and ugly in the eighties to fast and sexy in the late nineties and it got even better in this recent decade.

At the same time, the Chevrolet Camaro went from being sexy and powerful in the eighties to becoming too sleek, too smooth, and ultimately, very generic looking in the nineties.

For reasons unknown, Chevrolet made a mistake in the nineties. Instead of making the Camaro look awesome like it did in the sixties and eighties, that is to say a tough muscle car, Chevy tried to make the Camaro into "A poor man's 'Vette". In doing so, Chevy took away the character and soul of the Camaro. It just wasn't the Camaro anymore.

The end result of that was a vehicle that did not compete with the rebirth of the Ford Mustang. The Mustang began to shed the design trends of the early to mid nineties to go back to looking like a muscle car again.

Also, the foreign sports cars like the Mitsubishi Eclipse were very popular with the younger driving crowd. Movies like The Fast And The Furious showcased the import tuner cars as being fast and incredibly sexy. Add those factors and you've got terrible sales and production numbers for the Camaro.

In 2004 Ford unveiled the 5th generation Mustang and it set the way for what Chevrolet was about to do. The new Mustang is a homage to the original muscle cars of the sixties. It was tough and it was felt like a real muscle car. That's right, the muscle car is back and Mustang is leading the charge. The consumer response to the new Ford Mustang was immediate. People love the new look and it sells very well even now.

In 2006 Chevrolet unveiled a concept car that would be the basis for the 5th generation Camaro. It is a design that feels like the first generation again. The Camaro got its soul back.

Now the Camaro became an object of extreme desire for many. The car has power and sex appeal - the two core elements to a great muscle car. One thing is for sure, the new model can't come soon enough.
About the Author
Brian is a Camaro lover. He is really looking forward to the 2010 Camaro SS and hopes to buy one someday. You can read his blog at http://www.camaroforsale.org/blog/
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