Every move and indication that GM has recently announced signals the end of production for the Camaro, and Cadillac CT4 and CT5. The latest is that the Grand River Lansing assembly plant is slated to be converted into producing new GM BEVs by 2024. Grand River is where the Camaro is exclusively manufactured. It’s also home for the CT4 and CT5 Cadillac sedans, although they are also built in Shanghai, China. Combined with other recent developments, it is almost official that the end of Camaro and Cadillac CT4/CT5 production is almost upon us.
Last year GM documents showing product cadence did not list the Camaro past 2023. That was the first clue that the Camaro was on borrowed time. Then, the chief engineer for Camaro Al Oppenheiser was reassigned to become the head of GM’s EV programs. A few months after this the Gen 7 Camaro program was quietly canceled. Once you connect the dots the Camaro won’t be produced past 2023.
RELATED: Wild Rumor Says Next Chevrolet Camaro Will Be All-Electric
Since 2014 Camaro production has slowly decreased
Since 2014 Camaro production has slowly decreased. From a high of 86,297 sold that year the numbers for 2019 have been reduced to 48,265. We already know that 2020 is going to be bad for all sales including Camaro. So that number will reflect a more-than 50% reduction since 2014.
The truly sad part to all of this is that the latest generation of Camaro sped up the sales reduction rather than improving it. Camaro sales have never been as good as the sixth generation. The Mustang has seen similar reductions, though its numbers have been better. From a high of 122,349 sold in 2015, last year the best it could muster was 72,489. The current sixth-generation Mustang came out as a 2015 model. So it has also seen diminishing returns in spite of being a new generation.
Could the Camaro be built at another plant?
Could the Camaro be built at another plant? Possibly, but GM would probably want to see stronger numbers to consider such a move. The Camaro, CT4, and CT5 are all based on the Alpha GM platform. That’s why they currently share the same production line. But CT4 and CT5 production is extremely limited, so it’s doubtful moving the cars to another manufacturing facility would make much sense in the eyes of GM.
The slow demise of the car to the onslaught of SUV and truck popularity will spell the end of the Camaro. As for the Mustang, Ford is trying to apply that once magic name to an entirely different type of product with the Mustang Mach E. Whether it ultimately works or not remains to be seen. What we do know is that the initial launch has been so successful the first year’s production is sold out from pre-orders.
The end of the Camaro doesn’t mean it can’t be resurrected sometime in the future. Chevy has already done that once. Chevy killed the fourth-generation Camaro after 2002 but brought the nameplate back in 2010. Chevy watched as Mustang numbers rose to the extent it couldn’t stand idly by. But, this time just feels different.