Camaro/Firebird on Hiatus After 2002-Model Year
General Motors Corp. has announced that 2002 will be the last model year for the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird. The Ste. Thérèse, Quebec plant, where the vehicles are produced, will close in the fall of 2002.According to John Middlebrook, GM vice president and general manager vehicle brand marketing & corporate advertising, the combination of significantly reduced demand in the regular sport segment – which has decreased by 53 percent from 1990 to 2000, due in large part to the increasing popularity of trucks – along with the substantial excess manufacturing capacity in the industry made this decision unavoidable. Middlebrook said GM is celebrating both cars’ significance as American musclecar icons in 2002.Both Chevy and Pontiac will continue the tradition of providing performance vehicles with high value. Next year, Chevy will introduce the SSR. Pontiac will also offer Grand Prix GTP, Bonneville SSEi, and the forthcoming Vibe GT. GM will continue to support Camaro and Firebird/Trans Am owners with replacement parts, reproduction parts, accessories, and technical support through its Service Parts Organization.The Ste. Thérèse, Quebec plant opened in 1965. Over the years, it has produced a variety of car models, including the Chevrolet Monza, Pontiac Grand Prix, and Chevrolet Celebrity. It has been the sole producer of the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird models since 1993. The plant currently operates on one shift.