Grassroots Organization Pushes GM To Hurry Camaro Production

DETROIT — reports - General Motors executives say they are being inundated with e-mail messages — sometimes 300 or more in one day — from Camaro enthusiasts who are anxious to get their hands on a production version of the concept car shown in January at the North American International Auto Show.

"People will not get off Camaro," Bob Boniface, GM director of advanced design, told Inside Line. "Those people were hurt when that car went out of production, and they're letting us hear about it."

Boniface would not confirm last week's reports in a Canberra, Australia, newspaper that a task force at GM Holden is working on a production version of the Camaro concept. He said the business case for a future Camaro is still being "analyzed." Still, he was relatively upbeat about the car's future. "A lot of programs make it to the 10-yard line and get canceled," Boniface said. "But this is buildable [and] believable."

He noted that in discussions about the future Camaro, designers are "going back to the icon," the original version of the car. "The '69 Camaro," he said, "was the king of the pony cars." He added: "If it made it to production, it would look exactly like the concept. That would be the intent."

A major shift from the original would come in the future Camaro's interior, Boniface noted. "The Camaro was never known for its interior," he said. "The materials were poor and there were not comprehensive gauges. [GM Vice Chairman Bob] Lutz said the gauges looked like Westclox, a cheap production design."

What this means to you: So should we build this car that people seem to actually want? Real tough decision…

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