Camaro for Europe?

Chevrolet may sell the famed muscle car in Europe

September 11, 2006
Source: Automotive News - Jason Stein

MUNICH, Germany -- Chevrolet Europe executives are studying whether to bring the Camaro sports coupe to Europe.

Last month, General Motors confirmed it will build a new version of the American muscle car based on a concept unveiled at the 2006 Detroit auto show.

Although the Camaro concept vehicle has not been shown in Europe, Chevrolet Europe is considering importing and selling it here.

"I want the car for our lineup," Wayne Brannon, executive director of Chevrolet Europe, told Automotive News Europe. "But we want it to be a good business case. We are considering it."

Brannon said he would like to make a decision by the first quarter of next year. He said a number of factors will be considered in the decision, including engineering issues for Europe, emission requirements and volume.

"We would not look at it as a huge volume opportunity," Brannon said. "But the project has to make sense."

Chevrolet Europe says there already has been a positive reaction to the car from dealers and customers.

The sales expectations probably won't be large because American muscle cars are minor players in the European market.

Ford, for example, sold 441 Mustangs through six months this year, according to British market researcher JATO Dynamics. That's down from 463 during the same period last year but up substantially from 2004, when Ford sold just 70.

Coupes are also a niche segment. In the last two years, carmakers have sold an average of 30,000 units as customers increasingly switch to the coupe-cabriolet segment. That market is now nearly 10 times the size of the coupe segment, JATO reports.

GM will begin production of the Camaro at the end of 2008 in Oshawa, Ontario, and the car will go on sale in the United States in early 2009.

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