Shanghai Auto Show: Launch Of The Retro Rockets - Bumblebee Edition

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
shanghai auto show launch of the retro rockets bumblebee edition

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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  • Trend-Shifter Trend-Shifter on Apr 20, 2011

    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!

    • Kevin Dickey Kevin Dickey on Apr 21, 2011

      @ 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'.

  • Ponchoman49 Ponchoman49 on Apr 21, 2011

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

  • Alan The Prado shouldn't have the Landcruiser name attached. It isn't a Landcruiser as much as a Tacoma or 4 Runner or a FJ Cruiser. Toyota have used the Landcruiser name as a marketing exercise for years. In Australia the RAV4 even had Landcruiser attached years ago! The Toyota Landcruiser is the Landcruiser, not a tarted up Tacoma wagon.Here a GX Prado cost about $61k before on roads, this is about $41k USD. This is a 2.8 diesel 4x4 with all the off road tricky stuff, plus AC, power windows, etc. I'm wondering if Toyota will perform the Nissan Armada treatment on it and debase the Prado. The Patrol here is actually as capable and possibly more capable than the Landcruiser off road (according to some reviews). The Armada was 'muricanised and the off road ability was reduced a lot. Who ever heard of a 2 wheel drive Patrol.Does the US need the Prado? Why not. Another option to choose from built by Toyota that is overpriced and uses old tech.My sister had a Prado Grande, I didn't think much of it. It was narrow inside and not that comfortable. Her Grand Cherokee was more comfortable and now her Toureg is even more comfortable, but you can still feel the road in the seat of your pants and ears.
  • Jeffrey No tis vehicle doen't need to come to America. The market if flooded in this segment what we need are fun affordable vehicles.
  • Nrd515 I don't really see the point of annual inspections, especially when the car is under 3 years (warranty) old. Inspections should be safety related, ONLY, none of the nonsensical CA ARB rules that end up being something like, "Your air intake doesn't have an ARB sticker on it, so you have to remove it and buy one just like it that does have the ARB sticker on it!". If the car or whatever isn't puking smoke out of it, and it doesn't make your eyes water, like an old Chevy Bel-Air I was behind on Wed did, it's fine. I was stuck in traffic behind that old car, and wow, the gasoline smell was super potent. It was in nice shape, but man, it was choking me. I was amused by the 80 something old guy driving it, he even had a hat with a feather in it, THE sign of someone you don't want to be driving anywhere near you.
  • Lou_BC "15mpg EPA" The 2023 ZR2 Colorado is supposed to be 16 mpg
  • ToolGuy "The more aerodynamic, organic shape of the Mark VIII meant ride height was slightly lower than before at 53.6 inches, over 54.2” for the Mark VII."• I am not sure that ride height means what you think it means.Elaboration: There is some possible disagreement about what "ride height" refers to. Some say ground clearance, some say H point (without calling it that), some say something else. But none of those people would use a number of over 4 feet for a stock Mark anything.Then you go on to use it correctly ("A notable advancement in the Mark VIII’s suspension was programming to lower the ride height slightly at high speeds, which assisted fuel economy via improved aerodynamics.") so what do I know. Plus, I ended a sentence with a preposition. 🙂