By on April 20, 2011

The fifth generation of that other legendary car was launched on China by Shanghai GM. Ample 50s cues were not spared. Rock’n’Roll and a historic Camaro were on hand that had served as the official pace car of the 1967 Indy 500.

The 60s don’t make the hearts pound in a Chinese – unless accompanied by a rendition of “The East is Red.”

What they get are the Transformers. Now THAT works in China.

Like the Beetle, the Camaro will not be built in China. It’s an import with a hefty price of RMB 455,800 (roundabout $70,000) for the 3.6-liter model.

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11 Comments on “Shanghai Auto Show: Launch Of The Retro Rockets – Bumblebee Edition...”

  • avatar

    That’s either a tall model accompanying the Camaro or those gents in the background are short.
    Maybe both.

  • avatar

    Hate to be so AR, but shouldn’t you say Indy?

    • 0 avatar


      The 2011 Convertible Camaro is also the pace car for this year’s INDY 500.  Future president Trump will be pacing the start of the race, so now’s the time to buy stock in Paul Mitchell.

      My favorite time of year…..Indy in the month of May…..the smells of methanol, rubber, Sarah Fisher…..

  • avatar

    GM has a unique opportunity here, it’s 1964 all over again and they could own the desires of the youth market.

    Granted that the price point makes this a challenge, but a NEW market is in the waiting. 

    The Camaro (and Mustang for that matter) need to be marketed as NEW China youth.  They need to equate BMW, Mercedes, & Audi as cars for older Chinese. 

    Growl of the exhaust, sound system blaring, and all smiles for the driving experience.  (although the China government may want to kabosh that!)  Hello Kitty need not apply.

    Also goes a long way towards fixing the trade deficit! 

    • 0 avatar

      @ Trend-shifter:

      Yes, this is a unique market opportunity. China is the world’s largest market, and it is still growing. It is expected to grow for years to come, certainly an enormous opportunity for GM, the world’s largest automaker.

      See, Chevrolet has no brand image right now in China. They sold rebadged Daewoos and other Asian-based cars.  The “driving experience” seems to be much less of a factor there than it is here in the US. From my time there, I rarely – if ever – saw someone drive a car really hard, apart from a few quick BMWs. It seems to me like it’s more about what you drive than how well the car itself actually drives. Money is the name of the game. How do you show you have it better than the next guy? 

      From that standpoint, the Camaro has a good shot. It’s flashy. There is nothing like it in the Chinese market, and it’s going to take a little while for manufacturers to knock this one off because it’s more difficult to produce than, say, a Mini Cooper (google a “Lifan” – a Mini clone).

      As for other GM cars, people don’t care that much for them unless they’re Buicks. They love the LaCrosse. It’s bold, too. In this market, to be successful, I think that manufacturers need bold cars. Not even the most dynamic ones. Just ones that make statements.  

      Conclusion: be bold. You don’t even have to be the best at it, but if you’re bold then you can sell stuff in China. That’s how foreign manufacturers can make their impact there. Chinese manufacturers don’t make their own body designs – they generally copy others’ designs. Almost every car I saw there reminded me of some Western car. The BYD F3, the best selling car in China? Looks like a Corolla. Someone even knocked off the Pontiac Aztek. But the point here is that US manufacturers need to continue to bring bold designs to the table. Even if they’re not the most dynamically pleasing cars to drive, they need to be flashy. Show that you’ve got money, show that you are stylin’.

  • avatar

    Testimony to how good many of the 60’s cars looked that there styling can still look good on today’s muscle cars.

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