We keep seeing the signs that the Camaro will be discontinued soon. And GM keeps sticking to the script that the Camaro will hang in there at least through 2026. Now word comes that so far, in all of 2021, the Camaro has sold less than 10,000 units. Exactly 9,881 to be precise.
Can there be a good business case for keeping the 2021 Camaro around?
Those numbers are not sustainable. Neither is the embarrassing press that goes along with the dwindling numbers. Dodge Challenger numbers have actually risen, while the Mustang is down by about five percent year over year.
The Camaro is a much different story. It saw sales plummet by almost 30 percent in 2021. Or to put it a different way; the Camaro occupies just nine percent of the muscle car segment. Challenger leads the segment with 46 percent and Mustang barely under at 45 percent.
So the Camaro is significantly underperforming compared to its peers. There are many reasons being bandied about with the one high on the list being price. But in 2019 GM addressed the perceived price being too high by offering revised trim levels that broadened its prices. The 2019 Camaro was $2,000 less than its 2018 version.
Did the Camaro refresh in 2019 help?
Then in 2020 Chevy offered an even cheaper LT1 trim level. With these competitive price strategies, the Camaro continues to see dwindling numbers. Chevy also revised styling a couple of times.
Some have complained the sixth-gen models don’t look different enough from the fifth generation. So in 2019 Chevy redesigned the front and rear fascias. Especially on SS models, the new styling was not received well.
The new 2020 Camaro SS fascia didn’t help slow the Camaro’s slide
So for 2020 Chevy redesigned the SS fascia again. Unfortunately, that did not stop the slide. What Chevy decides to do next is anybody’s guess.
Just a few days ago we wrote about GM killing the upcoming Z/28 package. A Z/28 option would have been a glorious way to send off the Camaro. Even if the numbers were low it would have represented the Camaro’s heritage of fast V8 coupes.
Now, the only activity bestowed upon the Camaro is assembly line closures. This allows for microchips to be diverted to more popular models. But it does nothing to keep Camaro models on Chevy dealership lots.
Can Chevy afford to keep the lights on at the Camaro factory?
Chevy is as aware as anyone that keeping the lights on at the factory factored over fewer Camaros means each one costs more to make. Then, reductions in price to invigorate sales means Camaro manufacturing gets squeezed at both ends. In scenarios such as these, the Camaro would reasonably be gone at the end of this year.
But Chevy is sticking to its 2026 guns. Unless something changes rapidly we doubt there is any business case that justifies Camaro’s weak numbers in 2021. As the clock ticks, we wait for word from Chevy on when it will discontinue the Camaro.