General Motors (GM) has answered calls from enthusiasts by releasing the Chevrolet Camaro Z28 this spring, a move that execs say could spur boost sales and give GM stock a lift as well.
While the 2014 Camaro is currently being sold, the revised Z28 is set to debut in Spring 2014 — after making a surprise splash at the New York Auto Show earlier this year.
Al Oppenheiser, chief engineer of the Camaro, told The Detroit News that the new Camaro Z28 should lure auto enthusiasts into Chevy showrooms — and more importantly this is part of an effort at strengthening GM stock by smashing down any similar competition at Ford (F).
“This is going to be the fastest, the most expensive, and in my opinion, the most memorable car in the fifth-generation Camaro,” he said to the newspaper.
“And so you almost had to have the emotion be part of the business case to support us.”
That support would do well do boost GM stock. As InvestorPlace noted in late summer, GM posted outstanding second-quarter numbers.
Revenue for the April-June period came in at $39 billion, which represents a 4% increase over revenue in the same quarter last year. The consensus estimate on the top line was $37.7 billion. As for earnings, GM posted EPS (excluding one-time items) of 84 cents per share. And though that number was below last year’s 90 cents per share, it was well above the 75 cents expected by Wall Street.
At the same time, GM faces challenges with international sales.
Could a Camaro resurgence help GM stock get an even bigger jump from now to spring? It’ll take more than a flashy model to do so, but customer loyalty is a strong draw — and the new Camaro Z28 may be just the vehicle to draw them in.
The Detroit News reports that ”the new Z/28 recorded a lap time of 1:53.71 at GM’s 2.9-mile Milford Road Course at the Milford Proving Ground. That’s nearly 3 seconds faster than the 2012 Camaro ZL1 and more than 5 seconds faster than the 2014 Camaro 1LE, 2012 Ford Mustang Boss302 Laguna Seca and more than 6 seconds better than the 2013 Mustang GT500.”
The Z28 Camaro is far from new, with the first model out in 1967. But production was halted in 2002, and General Motors reported numerous requests for its return after the original Camaro came back with an updated model in 2009.
The 2014 Z28 reportedly will be priced above the ZL1, which starts at $56,000.
GM stock is up 22% year-to-date in 2013.