To say the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger (pictured) concepts caused a stir when unveiled at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit would be like saying Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt are ‘just’ another couple of pretty faces to the paparazzi (never mind the public). Comments continue to trickle in here on Autoblog, especially on the Camaro.
So why is Forbes’ Jerry Flint holding up a ‘Slow Down’ sign on bringing both cars to production? Enthusiastic fandom notwithstanding, he questions the practicality of production from the manufacturers’ side.
[Continue after the jump] Flint points to the costs of building the vehicles, resources that DaimlerChrysler (Challenger) and, especially, General Motors (Camaro) may need to devote more to vehicles that appeal to the average consumer. DaimlerChrysler has the advantage here since the Challenger is based on the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum/Charger frame. The company can cut or increase production depending on demand. GM, on the other hand, would have to add the Camaro to its list of new RWD vehicles currently in development.
Flint wonders, too, if the current market is large enough to make the investment profitable for either company. Enthusiasm does not necessarily translate to sales. (Remember the Pontiac GTO?) He guesstimates, for example, that GM would need to sell 60,000 Camaros yearly to make it viable. Ford sold 161,000 of its Mustang, arguably the most well-known muscle car, in 2005. Is that pie big enough for three vehicles?
Besides the problems inherent with larger engines, he discusses Toyota Motors and its strategy, as well. The automaker has no well-known muscle vehicle. Instead, it continues to increase the horsepower of its fleet, especially its Camry, the best-selling car in the U.S.
What do you think of Flint’s warning, hogwash or sound advice?