What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

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Thread: What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

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    GMI Camaro Forum Moderator Premium Member Z284ever's Avatar
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    What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

    Pony Car: an affordable, compact, highly styled car with a sporty or performance-oriented image (with an available V8). That's the definition of a pony car. The stuff in parenthesis was added by me.

    The original pony car is obviously the Mustang. In the pony car heyday, the Mustang was joined by the Camaro, Firebird, Cougar, Javelin, 'Cuda and Challenger. Out of all those, only the Camaro, Mustang and Challenger survive. And if you ask me, it's a pretty huge stretch calling something as large as the 5 passenger Challenger a pony car. So, we're down to Camaro vs Mustang again.

    So why is it that the Camaro Team has told me that they want to get away from the pony car nomenclature when referring to Camaro?
    My response was - WHY?

    Because, I was told, that GM wants to position the Camaro to compete with the likes of the BMW 3 Series coupe and Nissan 370Z.

    Is that a good path for Camaro to take? Is that how people percieve it? And are cars like the Genesis coupe encompassing the definition of "pony car" better than the Camaro or Mustang?

    Let's hear thoughts....
    Pony Car: an affordable, compact, highly styled car with a sporty or performance-oriented image and an available V8.

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    Re: What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

    GMs marketing division, IMO, has no concern for historical name plate "correctness" for lack of better term. Maybe heritage would be a better fit.

    If anything maybe they should offer a new car built off the camaro chassis with options and designs aimed at 3 series buyers. By making the Camaro a car to compete against the Mustang AND BMW you risk watering the model down for both markets. Typical jack of all trades, master of none.

    But hey, many have issues with GMs marketing division and decisions that it makes anyway. They only seem to listen to their data that no one seems to ever see.

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    GMI Camaro Forum Moderator Premium Member Z284ever's Avatar
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    Re: What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

    I'm wondering if GM feels that way because they know that Camaro has drifted significantly from it's traditional roots. Both Camaro and Mustang have grown too large and expensive. The days of a high school or college kid going to the dealer and buying an affordable, economical, sporty pony car as basic transportation are pretty much over. Price of entry now is a 300+ hp model. V8? Better have some cash.
    Pony Car: an affordable, compact, highly styled car with a sporty or performance-oriented image and an available V8.

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    Re: What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

    I think it is a good idea to get away from all of the old names - muscle cars, pony cars, Chevelle. For the younger generations (that aren't auto buffs) these names are old, outdated things their parents would drive or the name means nothing.

    Back when muscle cars and pony cars meant something they were affordable and they sold in much higher volumes than today. Now a V8 Mustang or Camaro are so much money they are low volume - the segment is now a very small niche - why waste time arguing over a name (or using a name) that isn't relevant.
    Last edited by BlackGTP; 01-22-2011 at 12:51 PM.

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    Re: What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Z284ever View Post
    So why is it that the Camaro Team has told me that they want to get away from the pony car nomenclature when referring to Camaro?
    Isn't it enough that "pony" is synonymous with horseand or Mustang and a term only purists would use?

    The lines have been blurred on what constitutes a sports car. Why narrow the appeal by pigeonholing a vehicle?

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    GMI Camaro Forum Moderator Premium Member Z284ever's Avatar
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    Re: What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

    Quote Originally Posted by ne_one View Post
    Isn't it enough that "pony" is synonymous with horseand or Mustang and a term only purists would use?

    The lines have been blurred on what constitutes a sports car. Why narrow the appeal by pigeonholing a vehicle?
    Actually, I see it as the opposite right now. By turning away from the traditional pony car paradigm, GM may actually be narrowing it's appeal. I can't imagine that lots of Camaro buyers actually cross shopped a 370Z or 335i before deciding on a Camaro. Plenty of people - yes females even - are looking for a moderately powered, fuel sipping, affordable, stylish car to drive around and they've gone elsewhere.
    Pony Car: an affordable, compact, highly styled car with a sporty or performance-oriented image and an available V8.

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    GMI Canada Editor Premium Member ne_one's Avatar
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    Re: What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Z284ever View Post
    Actually, I see it as the opposite right now. By turning away from the traditional pony car paradigm, GM may actually be narrowing it's appeal.
    But how many people actually see a new vehicle and give any consideration to the term the manufacturer uses to define it?

    The bottom line is people have a budget and basic requirements that will make a car worthy of their consideration.

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    Re: What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Z284ever View Post
    Actually, I see it as the opposite right now. By turning away from the traditional pony car paradigm, GM may actually be narrowing it's appeal. I can't imagine that lots of Camaro buyers actually cross shopped a 370Z or 335i before deciding on a Camaro. Plenty of people - yes females even - are looking for a moderately powered, fuel sipping, affordable, stylish car to drive around and they've gone elsewhere.
    I fully understand your point, but the numbers say differently. Like it or not, the 5th gen is a homerun when it comes to sales.
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    Re: What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

    Quote Originally Posted by SS_Frank View Post
    I fully understand your point, but the numbers say differently. Like it or not, the 5th gen is a homerun when it comes to sales.
    So was the Chevrolet Cavalier.

    In response to the OP... a pony car is a performance car that is also everything the current Camaro is not.
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    Re: What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

    Correct me if I am wrong but wasn't the Thunderbird the original Pony Car?
    It wasn't until much later they made it too big and gaudy...Especially in the 1970's.
    We use to own a 1966 T-Bird. With a 'Push-Away' steering wheel.
    I liked that car. I was really upset when my Dad sold it.

    Also, isn't GM selling the new Camaro as a 'Modern Muscle Car'?
    That would be my thinking as to why they do not want it called a Pony Car.
    Muscle Car sounds better.

    I know many people have made the mistake by calling these cars of the 1960's Sports Cars but, that was never the case...
    I never thought of the older Camaro as a Pony Car in the 60's either. It was always a Muscle Car to me and my friends back then.
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    Re: What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

    Quote Originally Posted by SS_Frank View Post
    I fully understand your point, but the numbers say differently. Like it or not, the 5th gen is a homerun when it comes to sales.
    It has been, yes.

    But the numbers are beginning to turn in a big way. Down 25-35% in the past few months compared to same months last year. And I think if you look at the sales numbers more deeply, females and under 35 buyers have been pretty bad. These particular segments have traditionally been a big chunk of Camaro/Mustang sales.
    Pony Car: an affordable, compact, highly styled car with a sporty or performance-oriented image and an available V8.

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    Re: What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Suziebob View Post
    So was the Chevrolet Cavalier.
    Right, so from now on every sales success GM has you're going to compare to Cavalier?
    We don't need to Find New Roads, we need to fix the ones we have now....

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    Re: What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

    Quote Originally Posted by SS_Frank View Post
    Right, so from now on every sales success GM has you're going to compare to Cavalier?
    Nope. That wasn't my point at all.

    My point was that having a sales success does not mean that a car is necessarily good, nor does it mean that a car is necessarily true to tradition, nor does it mean that a car is as good as it could, or should, be.

    I love the current Camaro. I just wish it wasn't a Camaro. It's better suited to being a Monte Carlo. But at the same time, I understand why GM put the Camaro name on it.

    But none of that makes it ideal.
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    Re: What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Z284ever View Post
    It has been, yes.

    But the numbers are beginning to turn in a big way. Down 25-35% in the past few months compared to same months last year. And I think if you look at the sales numbers more deeply, females and under 35 buyers have been pretty bad. These particular segments have traditionally been a big chunk of Camaro/Mustang sales.
    You're right, they are down big. I think sales have leveled off for a couple reasons, but nothing else in the segment is up. So have sales cooled b/c we're in winter, gas is up, and b/c the vert, the synergy and the Z are coming soon to a dealer near you, or have people just cooled on the 5th gen?

    Possibly all of those, but since Mustang, and Challenger have also seen similar declines, I'd be less likely to say that people have cooled on just the 5th gen.
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    GMI Camaro Forum Moderator Premium Member Z284ever's Avatar
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    Re: What is a Pony Car and why does GM not want the Camaro called that?

    Actually, Mustang sales have been creeping up. Someone here posted a great graphic comparing Camaro/Mustang/Challenger sales.
    Pony Car: an affordable, compact, highly styled car with a sporty or performance-oriented image and an available V8.

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