GM is forcing Holden to convert the Camaro to right-hand drive to put a dent in Mustang sales.
There’s really no argument over the fact that Henry Ford was one hell of an innovator, thinking outside the box to bring the automobile to the masses by streamlining production. However his thinking style has persisted even to this day. It was made apparent when Ford, having accurately gauged the postwar consumer climate, decided to go forward with the Mustang. It took until 2015, nearly 51 years after the first ‘Stang came off the line, for the pony car to go global.
Now that it has, it’s unlikely that Ford will look back. That means that, just like it did just after the Mustang was released, General Motors is playing catch up. If cars like the Holden Commodore SSV are indicative of anything, it’s that Australia loves its muscle cars. And now that Holden has ceased engine and vehicle production and shifted responsibilities to become the General’s Australian import and sales wing, the firm is eying to use the Camaro as a stopgap for the muscle car demand. Australia’s has discovered a pair of Camaros imported from the Red White and Blue roaming around Holden’s Special Vehicles division waiting for a right-hand drive conversion.
This contradicts previous reports that indicated that HSV would hold off on right-hand drive Camaro imports until the next generation global Camaro came out in 2022. Given that Camaro sales have recently slowed down in the US, GM may be desperate to pump its muscle car into foreign driveways to drive sales numbers up. Moreover, the right-hand drive Mustang has managed to surge well past Ford’s sales estimates for the region, giving GM more incentive to hurry up and sell the Camaro abroad. Unfortunately, the fact that the current Camaro isn’t engineered to be a right-hand drive vehicle means that it’ll come with a huge inherent downfall against the right-hand drive Mustang, which is available in Australia.
That would be cost. As one might imagine, right-hand drive conversions are not easy and therefore don’t come cheap. Melbourne-based tuner Crossover Car Conversions to right-hand drive for $50,000. HSV hasn’t announced specific pricing for the conversion, but claims that the finished product will cost as much as $20,000 Australian Dollars ($15,666 USD) more than an equivalent Mustang. Without a doubt, that’ll push the Camaro far behind in sales compared to the Mustang, but Chevy will at least have the opportunity to establish a foothold. Not like it’ll be a big one, with production constraints limiting output to 1,000 right-hand drive Camaros per year. Happy drag racing, Australia.