In general, we’re fans of the Chevrolet Camaro. Not only did we love how engaging the Camaro SS was to drive, we even had a surprising amount of fun behind the wheel of the Camaro Turbo 1LE. Unfortunately for Chevrolet, the Camaro’s positive reviews haven’t translated into sales success. Or, as Al Oppenheiser, the Camaro’s lead engineer, told Automotive News recently, “Frankly, [Ford’s] been eating our lunch.”
According to Oppenheiser, the problem is pricing. “The low [transaction prices] of a four-cylinder … that’s where the bulk of the sales are, and that’s where our pricing strategy needed improvement,” he continued. “We plan to go head to head—and win.”
From the look of things, Chevrolet is working to do exactly that. It already cut the base price of the Camaro 1LS by $1,000, lowered the price of its 1LT and 2LT packages, and priced the new Turbo 1LE at a competitive $30,995.
“What’s happening in the sport car segment, there’s a lot more volume in the low-to-mid part of the market,” Steve Majoros, Chevrolet’s head of car and crossover marketing, told Automotive News. “We do a phenomenal job with our loaded SSs, and it’s great business for us, but the reality is there’s an awful lot of people who just want a great-looking sports car somewhere in that $30,000 range, and that’s what we’re going to deliver.”
Despite Camaro sales being down 28 percent for the year, Oppenheiser remained positive. “Once there’s a groundswell that ‘Hey, it’s affordable performance,’ I think it will gain us back the momentum we need to take over,” he said. “That’s why I come to work every day. To take that crown.”
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)