October 28, 2008

2010 Camaro orders heavily favor V8 SS, production delays possible

Since the books opened two weeks ago, Chevrolet has received 6,000 orders for the forthcoming 2010 Camaro.

In a time when consumer confidence is at an all-time low and wallets are clamped shut from coast-to-coast, 6000 sales in 14 days is a decent response for an all-new model.

But depending on who you listen to, filling all those orders may be a bit difficult.

When the time came for GM to decide how many V6 and V8 Camaros would be built, crude oil prices were pushing $130 per barrel with no sign of retreating. Expecting an early rush to the more fuel-efficient V6 models, GM settled on a 50-50 split.

In recent months, oil prices have done what once seemed unthinkable, plummeting to nearly$70 per barrel. And as gas prices have slowly fallen, a flood of orders have come in for the V8-equipped 2LT and 2SS trims. With 84 percent of orders-to-date requesting a V8 Camaro SS, demand may outstrip supply for the first year of Camaro production.

What we don't yet know is how quickly GM can clear the potential backlog.

In 2006, when the 2010 Camaro was announced, GM said that 80,000 units would be built in the first year of production. But as time has passed, that number has slipped. Unconfirmed reports now suggest that as few as 20,000 units will be built. If demand remains high for the V8 models, it may take weeks for GM to meet the demand.

Since production efficiency is the crux of the issue, it's worth pointing out that V8 Camaros will use different engines depending on the chosen transmission. Stick-shift models will use the 422-hp 6.2-liter LS3 V8, while automatic-equipped models will use the 6.2-liter 400-hp L99 V8 with Active Fuel Management.

This is still a developing story, so this post will be updated as more information becomes available. One thing is for sure; if you're interested in a 300-hp V6 Camaro LS or LT, get to your local Chevy dealer. There will plenty of room on the production line.

[GM, Camaro5.com]

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