Camaro may lose its buzz by 2009

Source: Detroit Free Press -- January 19, 2007


Last week's unveiling of the Chevrolet Camaro convertible concept won oohs and aahs that rivaled those for the Camaro coupe concept shown at last year's auto show.

But at least a few analysts and prospective buyers question whether General Motors Corp. can keep the excitement going until the sports car reaches showrooms in 2009.

"The positive buzz in 2009 certainly won't be as intense as when the coupe first rolled out last year," said auto analyst Kevin Tynan of Argus Research in New York. "You even saw it last week. The convertible generated some excitement, but it didn't generate as much buzz as the coupe did last year. ... The response was: 'OK. Just build it already.' "

But GM says it's bringing the car to market on a time line that compares with the time it took to bring the Pontiac Solstice to market from its unveiling as a concept car.

"We've got all kinds of things planned to keep the buzz going," said Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper. "One of them is, it will be the star of the 'Transformers' movie this summer."

Auto analyst Erich Merkle said he believes the Camaro will still be hot in two years.

GM's only mistake with the Camaro was killing it in the first place, he said. "I don't think they'll have any problem generating excitement. God, I love that car."

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