Commentary: Will GM Make a Fifth Generation Camaro and Firebird?

June 2, 2000

In the few years that I have been the Webmaster and Editor of this site, I have been asked that question a lot. Everyone from enthusiasts to aftermarket employees, to salespeople at car dealerships. I hear it almost every time the subject comes up.

In fact, this question has been asked countless times in the past few years, and I can remember the day I wondered myself. Buying into the scary idea that I may not be able to get a next generation Camaro and thinking that I could possibly do something about it, I started the Save the F-Body! page. That was over 2 years ago, and as effective as the Save the F-Body! page is, the same question is still being asked in one form or another in all variations of automobile news communications.

In their rush to answer this question and fill that void in every true automobile enthusiast’s heart, magazines and newspapers began to speculate. Some said that production will definitely stop, creating a panic in many circles of communication especially online communities. Others offered their versions of an incredible dream car that the next Camaro and Firebird might be one day, which then manifested into rumors that the next Camaro and Firebird will be that incredible dream car one day soon. Some publications simply gave a “who knows what will happen?” blurb and let you draw your own conclusions, which of course turned into rumors which went around…again.

I can remember when one big rumor was going around stating that GM will definitely cease production of the Camaro and Firebird line…in 1998. This caused a huge uproar, especially in the online automobile communities. Some even cursed GM and said they will never buy a GM product again. I am willing to bet that a good majority of those very same people own 1999 and newer GM products as I sit here and type this.

I personally have received dozens of e-mails from people who claim to have “sources deep inside GM that shall remain nameless” and they say that the Camaro will live, but the Firebird will not. Or was it that the Camaro will get the ax, but the Firebird will become the Pontiac version of the Corvette? Wait, I think I remember…the Camaro and Firebird will both definitely die. I guess I have to apologize here. I have heard so many different stories about what will happen that I get a little confused, as all of them supposedly came from that unnamed source, deep inside GM. Regardless, every single e-mail like this was politely replied to asking for proof to back up their claims.

To this day, I have not received one reply containing sufficient proof to back up the claims, I am very sorry to say.

Recently, a few major automotive publications have published some new and potentially more accurate news about what will (or more accurately could) happen and all I can say is read carefully. Why? One magazine says that a new generation of Camaro/Firebird will come out in mid-2003, and another says that it will come out in 2005. I am in no way saying that one or the other or both are inaccurate, but it fortifies the fact that the question remains unanswered completely and without doubt.

Sooner or later, some real authorized information will come down the pipe and I hope to be one of the first stops it makes, and when it does, you can bet that my information will be posted right here on this web site and my information will have the name of the person who told me, and not an “unnamed source”.

I learned a long time ago to believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see. This is especially good to remember when it comes to the Internet and even more especially good to remember in this situation. In all fairness, you can even apply this to anything that I personally say about the situation, regardless of what proof I do or do not have to back it up.

So, in light of that, what answer can you trust when you ask if there will be a 5th generation Camaro or Firebird? If the magazines or even myself can’t post information that is positively confirming or denying details on the next generation Camaro and Firebird, what can you believe will happen and when?

Fear not, because I figured out the only true way to know exactly what will happen…

When you stop seeing new Camaros and Firebirds on the showroom floors for a couple of years and GM issues a public press release in one form or another stating they will no longer be making the Camaro or Firebird…ever again.

Then and only then will you truly know.

Or, you will know when you see a shiny new generation of Camaro or Firebird on the showroom floor, ready for you to get in and hammer the gas down and let the world around you turn into a blur of engine roar and burnt rubber on an asphalt that will never feel the same again.

Until either one of those two situations happen, it’s really anyone’s guess. Let’s continue hoping for the best.

Commentary by Jason Debler who is saving his money already, just in case.

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