GM Korea is coming on strong in the high-performance muscle car segment of the Korean car market, with preorders of the sixth-generation Camaro SS eclipsing by 600% the actual sales figure for the predecessor model in 2015.
“Since Chevrolet started accepting pre-orders from June 2 when the Camaro SS was revealed at the Busan International Auto Show, over 300 contracts have been signed and it is still earning tremendous attention,” a GM Korea spokesman tells WardsAuto.
GM Korea has been selling the Camaro SS since 2011 and has identified “a very strong market demand for an authentic American muscle car,” says the spokesman.
Total sales of the Camaro RS V-6 that it replaces were just 48 units in 2015 in Korea so the pre-orders portend an enormous leap in market presence for the American muscle car.
Korean freeways are notoriously crowded at the best of times and in near gridlock during commuter traffic hours. However, muscle-car enthusiasts are able to let their machines run out on various speedways around the nation, as well as enjoy the prestige and bragging rights within their social circles.
“Performance enthusiasts in Korea enjoy the drive on race tracks, as there are several circuits opened for the public,” the spokesman notes.
He cites Yong-in Speedway (located in the Everland Disney World-like theme park in Yeongjin, near Seoul), Yeong-am Korea International Circuit (a 3.5-mile [5.6-km] course, site of four Korea Grand Prix races in 2010-2013), In-je Speedium (a 2.5-mile [4-km] track, site of 2013 Asian LeMans series), and says there are many others open to the public.
Enthusiasts also have their own favorite driving circuits on various lightly trafficked country roads where they can let their machines run out over challenging hills and tortuous courses many of them through some of most beautiful countryside in Asia.
Currently, GM Korea is working feverishly on homologation of the Camaro SS to get its emissions rate and fuel efficiency certified.
The nameplate will be available for sale in showrooms sometime in the third quarter. It will be available in just three colors: black, gray and yellow. Korean inventory will be high enough to immediately deliver a vehicle of the customer’s choice, regardless of the color selected, the spokesman says.
There is only one trim level available in Korea, with a single price of 50.98 million won ($44,000).
The new body configuration and offering of a 455 hp 6.2L V-8 is causing high excitement in the market, the spokesman says.
GM Korea plans no special incentives to get the new Camaro SS rolling – the fixed price seems reasonable in Korea and interest already is extremely strong. As usual, GM Korea is not revealing sales targets for the Camaro SS.
Most of the customers placing pre-order contracts for the Camaro SS are young men in their 30s and 40s, according to the spokesman, but some women are seeking them, too.
The Camaro SS garnered very high public attention at the Busan show, where GM Korea had three of them on the specially marked Camaro stand.
The automaker has no special orientation program in mind for its customers, but from time to time does sponsor on-track driving clinics for owners, where they may accompany professional Chevrolet race-team drivers around the circuits, picking up hints of good, high-speed driving practices and have their own driving habits critiqued.