Source: Bloomberg News - Jeff Green
General Motors Corp. chief executive Rick Wagoner is turning to the Camaro "muscle car" from GM's 1960s peak as he tries to end a U.S. market-share slide after a $10.6 billion loss last year.
GM in 2009 will start selling a new version of the Camaro, which it previously built from 1966 to 2002, Wagoner said Thursday in a speech in Traverse City, Mich. The car will compete with Ford Motor Co.'s Mustang and DaimlerChrysler AG's Dodge Charger and Challenger.
Wagoner aims to increase revenue from new models after winning union concessions and making other changes that will cut GM's expenses this year at a $9 billion annual rate.
"It makes sense to create a little buzz around the brand and they have the nostalgia factor," said Pete Hastings, a Morgan Keegan & Co. fixed-income analyst. "Toyota and Honda are in a disadvantage in this area because they don't have the history of the 1950s and 1960s fun-to-drive era."
GM stopped making the Camaro as sales dwindled from a peak of 260,201 in 1978 to 28,404 in 2002. The car made its debut in late 1966, two years after the Mustang.
The new Camaro will come in 6-cylinder and 8-cylinder versions and will offer both manual and automatic transmissions, Wagoner said.