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Byline: Steven Cole Smith
Word came quietly, and unofficially, about two years ago.
"There is no Camaro or Firebird in the product plans after 2002." So said General Motors sources, none of whom would go on the record. GM, like all other car companies, is loath to discuss future plans, and woe to any employee who does.
But the handwriting was on the wall. With better marketing, the Ford Mustang, the only true competitor, was selling double the number of cars as Camaro and Firebird combined. The two GM cars shared very few parts with other models, being the only rear-wheel-drive cars in the Chevrolet and Pontiac lineup. GM, again like other manufacturers, maximizes profits by building lots of products off one platform.
The Toyota Camry, for instance, is also the basis for the Toyota Sienna minivan, the Lexus ES300, the Lexus RX300 sport-ute, the Toyota Highlander …