General Motors’ deal to sell Opel to parts maker Magna might have soured, but the two companies will sit on the same table again – over the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible. GM reassigned the contract to Magna when a rival supplier, Germany’s Edscha AG, filed for insolvency, according to sources close to the project. Magna is slated to build the Camaro top at its Bowling Green, Kentucky plant, with fabric from its Mexican operations.
GM put first-year Camaro convertible production at about 20,000 units, which makes it one of the largest North American ragtop contracts alongside the open top Ford Mustang. North American convertible system production is at its lowest point in years. Only 41,380 were built through late November of last year, down from 200,000 four years ago, say industry sources.
Drastic sales declines last year and GM’s bankruptcy forced the automaker to kill several convertible programs, including the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky and Cadillac XLR roadster, so it’s good to hear that the al fresco Camaro is going ahead. Last May, GM spokesman Terry Rhadigan told Automotive News that the Camaro convertible would be ready for production in the first quarter of 2011.