DETROIT – Chevrolet dealers and car shoppers are enthusiastic about the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro coupe that is starting to trickle in to showrooms, although most dealers contacted by Edmunds are still waiting for their first Camaros to arrive.
General Motors started shipping Camaro SS and LT coupes with the 3.6-liter V6 engine a few weeks ago. The Camaro targets the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger.
Models equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and the 2016 Camaro Convertible will be shipped beginning in March.
Brad Meredith, executive manager of Jim Browne Chevrolet in Tampa, Florida, is waiting for the first Camaro to arrive.
“We have a ton of people calling, coming in, wanting to see it,” Meredith said. “The early reaction is super positive.”
Meredith is confident the redesigned Camaro will help dealers in the Tampa area win back market share from the Ford Mustang.
“We used to own the (Tampa) market,” Meredith said. “Mustang has sort of taken over that segment a little bit on us. We have a plan to take back that market share, regain it from Mustang.”
Timothy Silagyi, inventory manager at Phillips Chevrolet in Lansing, Illinois, said the dealership has received two Camaros. They were built on a Monday and delivered two days later.
“The car is awesome, I took the car out yesterday and it is really good,” Silagyi said. “It is almost like driving my Corvette.”
But he admits the delivery process can seem a little slow.
“We have orders that are on quality control hold,” Silagyi said.
Chevrolet spokesman Monte Doran said that as part of GM’s standard launch procedure for all models, the automaker performs a quality audit on early-build vehicles before they are shipped to customers.
“This is done out of an abundance of caution, to ensure the cars are as close to perfect as they can be before leaving the plant,” Doran told Edmunds. “We understand, for customers who have a Camaro on order, it can be frustrating knowing their car has been built, but is not yet in their driveway. However, this is also the best way to ensure the car they have waited for exceeds their expectations.”
Frank DeBartolo, sales manager at Bredemann Chevrolet in Park Ridge, Illinois, is waiting for his first 2016 Camaro. But that hasn’t stopped enthusiasts from visiting the dealership and asking questions.
“We have a lot of action on it,” DeBartolo said. “We already have pre-sold orders. Being a new body style I’m sure it will do great. Style is what first initially sells and the style is definitely there.”
DeBartolo is optimistic that Camaro’s new styling and quality improvements will lure a new group of buyers.
“GM’s reputation has been going up, up, up,” DeBartolo said. “That is why it will bring in a new influx of people, people typically looking at foreign cars.”
Jeff Shutt, general sales manager at Capitol Chevrolet Cadillac in Salem, Oregon said Camaro’s magnetic ride control option is expected to be a key selling point.
Magnetic ride control is an active damping system that monitors road conditions and driver input, such as steering, throttle input and braking, approximately 1,000 times per second. The driver can select suspension settings based on weather and road environments – touring, sport, snow/ice, and on SS models, track.
A similar system is available on Cadillac and Ferrari models, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and several other General Motors vehicles.
“I absolutely love the way the car looks,” Shutt said. “My favorite thing is magnetic ride control. What a great system. I am so glad they put it in that car. I think that will make the car really great. Hopefully, Chevrolet will make that a big part of their conversation.”
Edmunds says: The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro pipeline is starting to flow, so it’s a good time to check in with your local Chevrolet dealer.