The Chevrolet Camaro muscle car has reached the end of the line in Australia, with the last example rolling off the Holden Special Vehicles assembly line in the past few weeks.
Both were remanufactured to right-hand-drive – to factory standards – by Holden Special Vehicles in Clayton and sold through selected Holden dealers.
Each Chevrolet Camaro conversion by HSV required 357 new and unique parts – including a remade dashboard by Melbourne supplier Socobell – which previously made the instrument panel for the Toyota Camry before the end of local mass production – and about 130 hours of labour from start to finish.
The local assembly line was turning out about three Camaro conversions a day – a longer and more involved process than the conversions for body-on-frame pick-ups such as the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado assembled under the same roof.
The executive director of sales and marketing for HSV, Chris Polites, told CarAdvice: “There are no plans to bring back the Camaro. Once these cars are gone, they are gone.”
The network of 65 Holden Special Vehicles dealers across Australia have fewer than 100 Camaro ZL1 and 150 Camaro SS muscle cars left in stock.
Some dealers are offering savings to clear remaining vehicles, while others are holding onto them to wait for the new-car market to recover after the COVID-19 lockdowns. It means some dealers will be more keen to negotiate than others.
Some dealers have also moved brand-new Camaros onto their used-car lots as "undriven demonstrators" to take advantage of demonstrator bonuses, which save thousands on the price of a new vehicle.
Since local assembly began, Holden Special Vehicles has produced 350 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and 1200 Camaro SS sports coupes in right-hand-drive. The 1000th example was assembled locally in July 2019.
Holden Special Vehicles will retain the tooling for the Chevrolet Camaro right-hand-drive conversion in case there is an opportunity to revisit the program in the future.
Meanwhile, it is unclear if General Motors will invest in a new generation Camaro, especially as sales in the muscle car segment have been in decline, even in North America.
The Ford Mustang has also experienced a sales slide in recent years – including in Australia after a peak two years ago – however CarAdvice understands Ford has committed to a right-hand-drive version of the next generation model due in a couple of years.
In the meantime, Holden Special Vehicles says it is still “business as usual” while it continues its negotiations with General Motors about the possibility of establishing General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV), which would continue to sell the Chevrolet Silverado pick-up locally, but also may eventually open the door to other brands in the GM empire such as Cadillac and Hummer.
MORE: HSV says it's 'business as usual' while it negotiates with Detroit to establish GMSV
MORE: HSV Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE track test and video
MORE: HSV Chevrolet Silverado 1500 price announced
MORE: How HSV remanufactures a Camaro to right-hand-drive