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GM still saying No to NASCAR on the Camaro...but has Brent Dewar checked in yet?

   By Mike Mulhern

   New Chevy boss Brent Dewar is still unpacking in Detroit, after his swift move back from Europe to take the helm of 'the new GM's' 'new Chevrolet division. But he did make a brief address to the troops that may be telling about where his head it: in his first moments of speaking Dewar pointedly said "…and it's good to be back racing.'"
    Which may speak volumes, at least to Chevy's NASCAR troopers.
    And the fact that suddenly – at Pocono at least, and at Indianapolis – Rick Hendrick's own Chevy men aren't the only guys with the touch, at long last this season, then maybe some of the landscape is changing in stock car racing.
    However one of the hot topics at the moment, on the Detroit-NASCAR front, is NASCAR's Nationwide series. Ford Motor Company, with principally team owner Jack Roush, plans a major Nationwide effort next season in NASCAR to promote its new Mustang.
   General Motors, in turn, has been pressured by NASCAR to step to the plate too, with its new Camaro.
   Logical marketing perhaps, for NASCAR certainly, and for Ford and GM too.
   But the official line from GM remains 'No.'
   How well that resonates in NASCAR's Daytona Beach headquarters remains to be seen.
   But when NASCAR executives say they want something done, it's usually prudent to say 'Yes.'
   It's probably unlikely – and economically and politically illogical – to try to revive the International Race of Champions as a Camaro marketing vehicle (though that first IROC race at Daytona in the mid-1970s, with brightly-colored identically-prepared Z28s, and a classy field of drivers was amazing).
   As far as NASCAR and the Camaro now, at the moment this is Chevrolet's official line on NASCAR and Nationwide and the Camaro, from GM racing director Mark Kent:
   "We've looked at racing the Camaro. And one thing we do not want to do is to force a car where it shouldn't be.
    "As we looked at NASCAR, we took a very hard look at running the Camaro in the Nationwide series. That was a request made of us by NASCAR.
     "We've had a tremendous partnership with NASCAR, so we took a very hard look at it.
    "At the end of the day -- because of the quest for very close competition, and the need to have templated bodies in that series, we just felt that by forcing the Camaro into the Nationwide templates, we were compromising the lines of an iconic car.
    "At the end of the day, we could not get the Camaro in the Nationwide series to satisfy our requirements."
    Well, that was the line put out by former Chevy boss Ed Peper.
    Now it's time for Brent Dewar to weigh in.
    Or maybe – see some Mustang-vs-Camaro sales figures below – GM is simply going to concede another round to the Mustang.

 Mustang vs Camaro sales over the years
    (as provided by a commenter)


Year: Mustang/Camaro

1964: 121,583/NA
1965:  559,451/NA
1966: 607,568/NA
1967: 474,121/ 220,906
1968: 317,404/ 235,147
1969: 299,824/ 243,065
1970: 190,727/ 124,901
1971: 149,678/ 114,630
1972: 125,093/ 114,630 (not a typo)
1973: 134,867/ 96,751
1974: 385,993/ 151,008
1975: 188,575/ 145,770
1976: 187,567/ 182,959
1977: 153,173/ 218,858
1978: 192,410/ 272,631
1979: 369,936/ 282,571
1980: 271,322/ 152,005
1981: 181,552/ 126,139
1982: 130,418/189,747
1983: 120,873/ 154,318
1984: 135,678/ 261,591
1985: 156,514/ 180,018
1986: 224,410/ 192,219
1987: 159,145/ 137,760
1988: 211,225/ 96,275
1989: 209,769/ 110,850
1990: 128,189/ 35,048
1991: 98,737/ 101,316
1992: 79,280/ 70,712
1993: 114,228/ 39,755
1994: 123,198/ 119,934
1995: 185,986/ 122,844
1996: 126,483/ 66,827
1997: 100,254/ 95,812
1998: 170,642/ 77,198
1999: 126,067/ 42,098
2000: 218,525/ 45,417
2001: 155,162/ 29,009  

Camaro Nationwide

If the car racing doesn't have Visual Conncection . . .Whatsoever to its production car variant when strong visuals are why the Camaro exists at all . . .Why Race it? The New "Mustang" Looks absolutely nothing like a Mustang. Racing the Impala in both Series will accomplish Chevy's goals. Its assumed that Chevy needs Nascar to sell Camaros?!? I think Nascar needs the Camaro in Nationwide more!

I think Brent understands the

I think Brent understands the impact of NASCAR as a marketing tool....though NASCAR's own marketing people may be stuck in an egotistical rut.
But i think both sides could win on this.
Of course I also believe that NASCAR should get out of the car design business and let Detroit be Detroit....common template cars are one of the worst ideas ever to come out of NASCAR....throw those templates away and, in Nationwide at least, let these car makers wage outright war. Yell and scream and all that. But Cup Lite? What a waste.....

NASCAR != All Racing

The Camaro WILL be racing in other series (road course) like Koni Challenge and some others so who said it will not have a Racing connection?

You can't sell camaros by racing a COT and putting a camaro sticker on the front. Why would ANYBODY believe that it's a Camaro?

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The new Mustang looks even

The new Mustang looks even more like a Mustang than the previous model. The rear fender arches and mid body ridge really bring out the car's design roots. And the grill and hood are vast improvements over the dull treatment the first S197's had to deal with.

This happens every single time a new body style comes out, for the first year, everybody freaks out and hates all the changes, then calms down and realizes that new doesn't have to mean different. It's the same pony, only better.

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