1 Reason the 2016 Camaro Won't Compete Globally with Mustang
Over the past few years, the Chevrolet Camaro has been the leader in global sales of American muscle cars because the Ford Mustang wasn’t directly marketed by Ford Motor Company outside of North America. However, when Ford announced that they 2015 Mustang would be offered with a right hand drive configuration, it was clear that the Motor Company was looking to make a run at the global muscle car sales title as well as the US title.
When it was announced that the next generation Ford Mustang would come in right hand drive for markets including Australia, Great Brittan, India, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan and a great many smaller countries, it was presumed that the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro would also come in right hand drive. After all, General Motors has enjoyed some sales success in these markets in the past, so rivaling the Mustang with a right hand drive Camaro would make perfect sense.
Unfortunately, reports from all over the world from inside sources insist that the 6th gen Camaro will not be offered with a right hand drive configuration.
No RHD Rumors Last Year, Reports Now
Back in November 2014, we brought you the news that a General Motors insider claimed that there was no right hand drive 2016 Camaro planned. The information seemed solid, but with the early popularity of the 2015 Ford Mustang in right hand drive markets, it seemed unlikely that GM would really snub some of those large foreign markets.
However, since the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro debuted last month in Detroit, there have been more insider reports from sources around the world insisting that there is still no right hand drive Camaro Six in the works. The Camaro will almost certainly be sold in many of the same markets as the Mustang, but should these reports be true, I would expect to see the Camaro offered in less RHD markets – particularly skipping those smallest RHD regions.
If True, I’m Stunned
The reason that this comes as such a surprise to me is that the new turbocharged 4-cylinder engine in the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro seems like it was designed specifically for the overseas markets where fuel prices are very high and where a large engine comes with massive taxes at the point of purchase. This is one reason why the Camaro hasn’t done better in Europe, as the only engine offered abroad is the 6.2L V8 from the American SS package. This engine is awesome, but it makes the Camaro unaffordable for many prospective buyers and the 3.6L V6 is too big to satisfy many of the engine size restrictions in those markets.
In order to make the 2015 Ford Mustang more acquirable in these foreign markets, Ford introduced the new 2.3L EcoBoost and surprisingly to many, GM countered with a new turbocharged 2.0L mill for the 2016 Camaro. With far less power than the Mustang EcoBoost or even the new V6 Camaro, it seems like this engine is ideal for foreign markets – making it clear that GM wants to compete with the Mustang on a global level.
On the other hand, should GM really snub the right hand drive markets, sending the 2016 Camaro around the world strictly as a left-drive model, they will be giving the Mustang a very big advantage in some large markets.
For the sake of those hopeful buyers in the right hand drive markets, I am kind of hoping that these insider reports prove to be incorrect, as a right hand drive 2016 Camaro would turn up the heat in the global muscle car sales race and in a battle like this – the consumer is the real winner.