Holden Special Vehicles has completed its final right-hand drive conversion of a Chevrolet Camaro, marking the end of the line for the current model in Australia.

Since the launch of the pre-facelift 2SS model in September 2018, which was followed by the arrival of the controversially-styled facelifted 2SS and the hardcore supercharged ZL1 last year, a total of 1550 cars have been converted from left- to right-hand drive in HSV’s factory in Melbourne’s Clayton South – 1200 of the 2SS, and 350 of the ZL1.

Speaking with CarAdvice, HSV’s executive director of sales and marketing Chris Polites confirmed that this isn’t just a temporary halt, but a definite end of production, stating, “There are no plans to bring back the Camaro. Once these cars are gone, they are gone.”

HSV workers celebrating the 1000th right-hand drive Camaro conversion in July 2019

Between the 65 HSV dealers across Australia, just 150 2SS and 100 ZL1 models are reported to remain in stock, with dealers differing in their approaches to selling them, with some offering competitive deals and listing brand-new cars as ‘undriven demonstrators’, while others are hanging on to their supplies in wait of the Australian new car market recovering after the current and ongoing coronavirus crisis.

While it’s a definite end of production, HSV is going to retain the tooling it has developed for the Camaro conversion program, which is unsurprising given just how much work goes into each car, and how long these processes and new components would have taken to develop.

A total of 130 hours of labour is spent fitting 357 brand-new components to each car, including an entirely new dashboard made by Melbourne-based former Toyota parts supplier Socobell, along with, of course, a new steering rack to put the tiller on the correct side.

Due to the intensive amount of work required for each Camaro, limiting production to three units per day, the Ram and Chevrolet pickup trucks manufactured under the same roof after simply more profitable to produce – although, it should be noted, the introduction of the smaller Silverado 1500 did recently spell the end of HSV’s conversion program for the larger 2500 model, too. Supplies of the Holden Colorado-based SportsCat, the only other model in HSV’s lineup, are also set to run out by the end of the current financial year.

The news comes two months after General Motors retired the Holden brand, announcing that it would be dissolved by 2021 due to a sharp downturn in sales and the unprofitability of operating in right-hand drive markets.

With the Holden brand and name set to go, it’s left HSV reportedly looking to restructure itself as General Motors Specialist Vehicles (GMSV) and importing a wider range of internationally-available GM products.

The axing of the Camaro will leave HSV without a performance model in its lineup until the arrival of the factory right-hand drive C8 Corvette, which is supposedly still set to head to our shores.

While this is certainly the last we’ll see of the current Camaro, it could also potentially be the last we’ll ever see of the nameplate, as it’s unclear whether GM will build a successor to the current model at all due to declining muscle car sales in America.

Having driven the incredible ZL1 variant last year, we reckon it’s a real shame to see the Camaro go, but with 250 brand new cars still available at the time of publication, at least there is still a chance to grab a slice of the Camaro pie for yourself before it’s all gone.

Patrick Jackson
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