GM neither confirms nor denies the Camaro's imminent demise.
Could Chevrolet be on the verge of killing the Camaro again? A new report from Muscle Cars and Trucks alleges that might well happen after 2023, which is when the current sixth-generation ‘Maro is slated to end production. The report cites “multiple sources” at General Motors as saying the next-generation Camaro program is suspended, with no apparent future beyond 2023. Those sources also allegedly say the nameplate will likely get shelved, meaning no more Camaro for the second time in the pony car’s history. We contacted GM to see if there’s any truth to the claim, and received this official statement:
“While we will not engage in speculation, we will remind you of our recently announced updates coming to the Camaro lineup this fall. An all-new LT1 model will provide customers V8 power with the design and affordability of our LT trim. The award-winning SS model will feature a new front fascia from the Camaro Shock concept. All of our updates are customer-driven to improve the car and its driving experience.”
That’s certainly not a denial, but neither is it a final nail in Camaro’s coffin. Going strictly by sales the future indeed looks grim; deliveries for the sixth-generation Camaro have fallen steadily since its 2016 introduction, with just under 51,000 finding homes in 2018. That’s the lowest sales year by far since Camaro’s revival in 2009, and figures through the first three months of 2019 are only marginally better. The ill-received 2019 facelift could be to blame for that, and to Chevrolet’s credit, another facelift for 2020 brings back a more traditional look to the front of the car. Also, it’s worth noting that sales for the Ford Mustang are down in recent years, though not quite as extreme. It will be interesting to see if Camaro sales rebound for the 2020 model year with its fresh face.
Beyond that, the report from Muscle Cars and Trucks also points out that the Camaro’s chassis is shared with the now-defunct Cadillac ATS and CTS. That’s not to say a next-generation Camaro couldn’t transition to another platform, but the report also highlights the various Team Camaro members that GM has sent to other projects. Put it all together, and frankly, there a great case supporting the cancellation claim.
If we had to guess (and we do), we’d say GM will be watching Camaro – and Mustang – sales very closely over the next 12 months. If there are signs of life, there’s no reason to believe the automaker couldn’t push forward with a new plan. If, however, sales continue to underwhelm, we might well see Chevrolet’s warhorse put out to pasture yet again.