Canadian Chevrolet Camaro Plant Shutting Down Due to Excess Inventory
It isn't unusual for the production facility of a performance car like the Chevrolet Camaro to shut down during the spring and summer to prepare for new model year retooling, but the rumored downtime coming to General Motors’ Oshawa Ontario Assembly Plant isn’t due to normal procedures – it is due to slowed Camaro sales and an abundance of Camaro inventory.
The Chevrolet Camaro has been the bestselling performance car in America every year since being introduced for the 2010 model year and more often than not, the Camaro has also been the bestselling performance car in each of the months since it returned to the Chevrolet lineup. Even though the Camaro has continued to outsell both the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Challenger over the past couple years, GM has watched Camaro sales numbers slide from where they were a few years back. That gradual yet steady decline in sales coupled with a high production level that was designed to meet the previously high demand has supposedly led to an excessively high number of new Camaros in stock. General Motors has been criticized in the past for production numbers that vastly exceeded the demand which has led to the automaker being forced to deeply discount vehicles to get them off of lots. To avoid getting into that problem with the Chevrolet Camaro, GM has seemingly decided to stop production at the beginning of March and again at the end of March and the beginning of April to let dealerships around the country burn through the current inventory of Camaro coupes and convertibles.
Now, I should point out that none of this information comes from General Motors and now that they no longer announce monthly production numbers, we really don’t know if their production levels for the Camaro are exceeding the sales numbers by a big enough margin to cause an overabundance of muscle cars in their inventory. Downtime isn't all that uncommon regardless of the vehicle in question as it is the best way for an automaker to make an “inventory adjustment” without actually changing their production schedules. Should these two periods of downtime at the Oshawa Assembly Plant happen, it will allow the company to perform regular maintenance to the facility while also helping to reduce the number of 2014 model year Camaros as the company prepares to begin building the 2015 model year vehicles later this year.
Some media outlets like to spin scheduled downtime at an assembly plant as a sign of problems, but when you consider the fact that the Chevrolet Camaro is already leading the segment AND the entire performance car market in the US in 2014 sales, it is hard to say that there is anything to worry about at GM…at least regarding the Camaro. The Camaro could face a big challenge later this year when the 2015 Ford Mustang hits but until then, GM execs likely aren't losing too much sleep over the slower sales of the Camaro. After all, the Camaro really hasn’t changed all that much shy of the new nose and new taillights for 2014 while the Mustang has received a much more elaborate facelift during the life of the current 5th generation Camaro.
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