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IL Insider: Camaro Concept Guru Goes Down Under on Secret Assignment

Date posted: 04-28-2006
PORT MELBOURNE, Australia ? The plot thickens.

Inside Line has learned Chevrolet Camaro concept Lead Exterior Designer Sangyup Lee is on a special one-year assignment with General Motors' Australian subsidiary, Holden.

Why is this move significant in a business that moves people around the world like pawns on a chessboard?

First, if it reaches production, the Camaro will be built off of a derivative of the Zeta platform ? a new rear-wheel-drive chassis. GM's Holden division is currently spearheading the development of that platform. Rear-wheel-drive vehicles continue to be popular in Australia, and represent a significant share of Holden's product portfolio, so its lead role on Zeta development is logical.

Second, the recent report from Canberra, Australia confirms that further development work is being done Down Under on future American rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

Third, Sangyup Lee's involvement in the Camaro concept was significant. We interviewed Sangyup in the days following the Detroit Auto Show, and found he had a clear understanding of the direction on the production car, if approved.

It doesn't take much imagination to look at the above facts and infer that Sangyup is in Australia working with Holden on the production Camaro set to debut in 2008 as a 2009 model.

What this means to you: General Motors remains coy about announcing production plans for the Camaro. But if Vegas had odds on whether the Camaro will be built, we'd solidly bet on production.
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