Killing The Chevrolet Camaro Softly Makes Perfect Sense

Chevrolet has announced that the 6th generation Camaro will be ending production in January 2024. To celebrate the most current generation of the Chevrolet Camaro, the brand is releasing a Collector’s Edition (one for the flippers out there). It’ll be available as a package on the 2024 Camaro SS and RS and will pay homage to the first generation Camaro of the ‘60s and the project's code name: Panther.
Chevrolet Camaro Collector's Edition 8 photos
Photo: Chevrolet
Chevrolet Camaro Collector's EditionChevrolet Camaro Collector's EditionChevrolet Camaro Collector's EditionCamaro interior renderingCamaro ZL1Camaro SSCamaro SS
But none of that matters compared to what Scott Bell, VP, Global Chevrolet has to say about the Camaro. “While we are not announcing an immediate successor today, rest assured, this is not the end of Camaro’s story.” Translated, this means GM has no immediate plans for a Camaro successor. It’s a fantastic idea.

An Uphill Battle

This isn’t to say that GM doesn’t have its work cut out with the *eventual* Camaro replacement. People couldn’t get enough of the car when it was initially revived, but sales steadily declined across each generation. In 2022, the Camaro was the biggest loser in the muscle car sales wars. Chevy sold just 24,652 Camaros in 2022. That is nearly half of the Mustangs Ford managed to sell the same year. Meanwhile, Dodge shifted 80,074 Charger and Challenger units. That’s almost four times the number of Camaros sold.

Camaro ZL1
Photo: Chevrolet
As Led Zeppelin once said, the song remains the same. In the year prior, the Camaro was also at the bottom of the charts. Clearly, this muscle car has failed to capture the enthusiast segment as it has aged. Still, what comes next is something everyone in this segment has to figure out. Dodge will take the next Challenger electric, but Ford is quiet on the subject of what comes after the newly debuted Mustang lineup. Chevy and its competition have a chance to re-write the muscle car script, and how it is done will be incredibly important for each brand. Here, its advantage: Chevy. The Camaro has nothing to lose. 24,000 cars a year is nothing. The brand can bet big on the replacement. That is why soft-killing the Camaro for a while is a great idea.

What Will Become Of The Camaro?

Right now, nothing is certain. It makes perfect sense to “kill” the Camaro by not defining a replacement. Electrification, the incentives and new emissions standards surrounding it, and the politics of said items all weigh heavy on car brands right now. As far as product planning goes, it’s the Wild West out there. With a left-leaning House and Senate, we could be on-track for an EU-style combustion ban. If things swing the other way, who knows?

Despite that, some possible solutions have come up. It’s important to acknowledge that every single one of these is nothing but speculation. An outlet may claim an “insider” talked some talk, but nothing is set in stone. Especially when the car you’re discussing moved so few units over the last few years you could fit them all in a broom closet.

Chevrolet Camaro Collector's Edition
Photo: Chevrolet

More Rumors Than Fleetwood Mac

Evidently, rumors surrounding the life or death of the Camaro name are abundant. Right now, the leading theory among the press is that Chevy wants to make like Dodge and take the Camaro electric. Throw the last two words of that sentence into google, and you’re inundated with renderings.

To be fair, it does make sense. An electric, four-door Camaro based on GM’s excellent Ultium EV platform would, admittedly be pretty killer. Plus, it’s controversial. Everyone loves a good controversy, and the idea is just interesting enough to give some of the die-hards pause. Plus, the power figures and handling would be able to live up to the Camaro name. With Dodge already headed that way, having a competitor with similar pedigree in that space is also a solid plan for GM right now.

Other, less fleshed-out rumors are just about what you’d expect. The Camaro could retain its V8 with some hybrid assistance - a popular solution over in Europe right now. Or, GM could just keep the Camaro dead, quietly announcing that it does not have plans for a successor a few years from now when people have forgotten. A rendering done by GM Design made the rounds a while ago as well, showing the interior of a much newer and more techy Camaro with a manual transmission.

Camaro interior rendering
Photo: GM Design/Instagram

GM’s Best Bet Is Electrification

I hate to get 700 words in just to say that the most credible rumor we have is the best, but it really is. Electrification is the best option for automakers to bet on as they plan future products, and consumers want EVs more than their collective next breath. Sure, that ignores blatant issues with infrastructure, materials, and the environment, but who cares? EVs are new, hot, and people can be sold on the idea of being better for the environment by buying more stuff. Americans want the biggest, fastest thing they can drive, and the Camaro has a chance to be just that all over again - just like it was back in the ‘60s.

So, an electric Camaro makes sense. It also makes sense for GM to wait a bit to make it happen, as Bell said in the quote above. Details on the Challenger EV will solidify over the coming years, and in all likelihood, Ford’s plans will too. Essentially, Chevy gets a do-over, not unlike when Michael Bay’s Bumblebee made the Camaro SS the coolest car in America for a brief moment all those years ago.

Camaro SS
Photo: Chevrolet
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram Twitter
About the author: Chase Bierenkoven
Chase Bierenkoven profile photo

Chase's first word was "truck," so it's no wonder he's been getting paid to write about cars for several years now. In his free time, Chase enjoys Colorado's great outdoors in a broken German sports car of some variety.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories