Will it Take 100,000 People to Resurrect the Chevy El Camino?

Will it Take 100,000 People to Resurrect the Chevy El Camino?

Thanks to our friends at Jalopnik, we now know the number of serious buyers it will take for General Motors to bring back the Chevy El Camino: 100K. Maybe.

Joel Ewanick, GM’s chief marketing officer, threw out the stat this evening via Twitter (@JoelEwanick) in response to @chevyavalanche’s tweet, “I want a new El Camino. Badly. Please!”

“@chevyavalanche well, we need you and 100,000 more of your best friends,” replied Ewanick.

GM originally announced that it planned to bring the Australian-built Holden VE Ute to the U.S. as the 2010 Pontiac G8 Sport Truck during the 2007 New York auto show. U.S.-specific development work, including engineering side airbags to meet federal safety standards, was carried out, but the project was canceled before a single ST made it into showrooms. That work could still be the foundation for an all-new Chevy El Camino, which is sold as the Chevy Lumina Ute in some countries, like South Africa.

The latest El Camino resurrection campaign started after Ray Wert, Jalopnik’s editor-in-chief, encouraged Twitter users to follow Ewanick and request a new El Camino.

Ewanick hedged his statement later, tweeting, “@raywert thanks ray! Appreciate that one! So lets be straight, real orders! Sold orders with deposits!”

For perspective, 100,000 buyers are about the same number of people that bought Toyota Tacoma midsize pickups in the U.S. last year. The Tacoma is America’s best-selling small truck.

Can 140 characters turn into 100,000 El Camino buyers? Let Ewanick and Chevrolet know at Jalopnik.


General Motors should have an easier time selling these as Chevrolet El Caminos rather than as the Pontiac G8 Sport Truck they had originally planned. They had a business case for it, before, as a Pontiac so they should carry out their plan. Are they hoping for 100,000 units a year or 100,000 units in 4 or five years? I do not see 100,000 a year happening.

VW has said they would bring the Amarok to the USA based on 100,000 per year.

Which one would truck guys rather have?

The "El Caminio" or Holden SS ute is a Lifestyle vehicle, that has a reasonable payload 1700lb and doubles as a good handling muscle car.
VW's Amarok is trying to build a reputation worldwide, as all companies including Ford who build pickups would love to knock Toyota off its perch.

I'd rather see them bring a regular four door car to the US then this. Chevy version on the G8. Right now, GM makes one four door with a V8 and rear wheel drive, the CTS-V. Way too far out of my price range.

I think that GM could totally make a business case for this. An El Camino as a chevy and the the One-Ton (Flat Bed or Chassis cab) as a GMC. IF GM offers it up as both a consumer vehicle and some light-duty commercial applications as well they will totally sell 100,000

Mu Uncle had an El Camineo, was a great car and doubled as something with some utility.

They could make it fuel efficent and it would sell.

So they need 100,000 firm orders to bring a El camino here but no firm orders to bring the same vehicle as a Pontiac. Way to go GM. You only want to sell 70,000 cop cars. Whats with that

The first thing GM needs to do is put somebody in charge
of the company that actually knows something about cars
and trucks. Get rid of the accountants. They will then
create cars that people actually want.

no way they'll sell 100,000 unless it gets amazing mpg. I'd love to have one to replace my old dakota only if it got good mpg though. The demand for off-road capability and towing capability in a truck is ridiculous in my opinion. Most people I know that have trucks only tow or go off-road a handful of times all year and they could easily get by without it. What I really want is something with a bed that gets good mpg for taking my dogs and my tools on the 90 percent of days when I don't need to tow or do any off-roading. I think people like me that can afford to have a truck plus another vehicle would definitely be interested in something like this. Anybody that drives a truck but doesn't really need to tow or go off-road SHOULD be interested in an el camino. But WILL they? I think not. People just aren't willing to give up the off-road and towing capabilities

I think they at least change the bodywork, so it could look more "El-Caminoish" than a Holden Ute with a Chevy badge, an optional V6 and maybe, just maybe a diesel option as well... If that is the case, 100 000 potential buyers is more than achiveable.:)

when you see the gold chevy bowtie logo glistening on a neon green el camino in the sunlight, thats when you think to yourself: wow, there is nothing better than this country and this truck.


They're bringing the short wheelbase sedan (Commodore) and the wagon (Commodore Sportwagon) to the U.S. for the commercial market, and the long wheelbase sedan (Caprice) for police, regardless of whether they bring the ute. (Which I personally hope they do). Since the Commodore is coming in 2013, it will probably be the next generation. The current car has been around for about 4 years already.

Perhaps if they do bring it over, Ford will follow with one of each below?




I think GM should produce the sedans in the US too. They are great cars, I don't think the El Camino ute would have much success in the US, but maybe a low volume import from Australia just to give people options, is not a bad idea.

@a different Luke

Thanks, my wife and I are looking at replacing our Trailblazer in the next year or two and wanted to buy new.

I really want the new caprice though.

These "utes" would sell even less than the hugely unsuccessful Chevy SSR pickup. Keep them in Australia GM.

@beebe you have just described a basic Holden Ute. Mileage for them is good, LPG makes it a lot better.
@Vanakatherock the 4 Litre straight turbo six {The original Ford Ecoboost") produces amazing horsepower and torque. There are streetable 1100 Rear Wheel horsepower Falcon sedans, one runs a 8.8 second quarter not bad for over 4000lb street sedan.
How to destroy your tires and look stupid in the process.

@Robert Ryan - I consider any pickup truck purchased for anything other than work, a lifestyle vehicle.
My truck would fall into that category.
It will take me hunting, fishing, camping, offroading, pack my dogs, my toys and my kids toys.
My lifestyle dictates that I need a truck.
I'm not sure if 100,000 people per year in North America will want one of these to meet their lifestyle choices.

They should put a V-6 with a 6 speed transmission in it and could sell many of them. Not sure about 100,000 though.

I don't have that much need for a full-time truck, but I do have a frequent need to carry things too big to fit in the back of an SUV. Something like the UTE/El Camino could give me a car with real carrying capability when I need it. I've bugged my local Chevy dealer enough that it looks like they're listening.

@Lou, I would say more like 30,000. It is limited off road, no 4X4 option on the current models. There was an AWD, raised cab chassis version, but the very cheap costs of the Asian sourced pickups killed that. It is also used as a Rally car and as a muscle car, better handling then its cousin the Camaro SS. Or as people call it here the "Corvette with a useful bed". A 12 second quarter "truck", that can haul your motorcycle "toys"
Other Asian sourced pickups and the Ford Ute are better Off road , used as bases for Truck Campers. The Ford Ute is liked by a lot of tradesmen, car handling and ride and very low loading and off loading characteristics. 2800lb payload.
A Holden Ute as a Rally Car
Holden 1 tonner AWD, more like 2,600lb payload.
A Ford Falcon Ute towing a small 5th wheel 24ft
A Ford falcon Ute twin axle conversion with a small Motorhome or large Truck Camper body.

I would take a Chevrolet El Camino over a Volkswagen Amarok, any day!

My comment that the Ford Falcon Turbo 6 was the orginal turboboost. A comment from GM insideforums.
"One of the great inline sixes of the world, a surprisingly economical motor considering it has plenty of power and is very torquey ( is that a word? ) would be an ideal motor for the F150 etc.. even better what about the turbo version in a pick up ? It is a very durable unit as well, sees service in the nations taxi fleets, regulary clocking up half million kilometers running on LPG."

What works in Australia, works in Australia.

Not much value in a 2 seater car with a bed.


Forget the El Camino, GM won't even bring the new Colorado here. Dumb.

@Ken, they were saying something like that about the Mercedes Sprinter before it was introduced in the US. Too slow, could not carry anything. Now they are a Motorhome base for Winnebago. Times and attitudes change.

@RR, you're right, the Sprinter was very successful. I think it's a much more practical vehicle than a ute though. I think commercial vehicles like the Sprinter, Transit, Connect, Doblo and Ducato could do well. The ute could have a niche as a modern El Camino play car, but I think it would be bought mainly by enthusiasts for the sport factor, not as a workhorse. I also don't think GM should do the regular utes if it wants to pitch it as that sporty/retro kind of car. Perhaps they should just do the SV6 and SS utes. Put the Camaro front on it, and call it the El Camino. That could probably work. Mix it in with the Omega ute, and you lose that image.

@Alex nailed it. That is what I think they will do.

Why do GM need 100,000 votes to bring back the El Camino? It's not like they need to design it from scratch, just re-tool one of the old Pontiac plant and you're good to go. Or Just build it along with Camaro and Caprice since they share platforms.

The US already had good demand for vans before the Sprinter was introduced. The same can't be said for the El Camino.

There isn't pickup-like interest in 2 seat cars with min payload, min tow ability, min storage, low ground clearance, and single axle drive. I doubt there are enough single guys out there interested in buying a pickup wanna-be car. There are so many better options on the market than a retro El Camino.

Let it rest in peace...

@Ken, there was NO interest in the Sprinter initially.US sourced vans yes. Well actually there is NO alternatives to a "car" as you state, that can carry 1500-1700lb, handles like a sports car on pavement and dirt and can go 150-170 mph depending on tune. The 2 seat Corvette, cannot go on dirt and carry "toys" in the back.This can.

There was plenty of initial Sprinter interest in the US especially with the fuel efficient diesel engine option. The main issue was Freightliner kit building and limited sales distribution. But they were all the rage in the diesel community.

A pickup with sports car like characterists is not something that will swing 100k instant buyers. Almost no one is asking for a retro El Camino with all the limitations. Americans are accustomed to 4 seaters with storage space and there are currently plenty of options to buyers. It's a manufacturer's wet dream.

Just bought a 2011 Chevy Colorado crew cab two weeks ago, and I absolutely love it. (23 mpg average so far with the I-5 motor)
Hell, it's nearly the same size as my '97 Z71 ex-cab.

@Ken , I can remember from the time, the reports that they were European built and would fall to pieces, limited load and towing capacity , slow. Well that has changed.
I think a Ute would get about 30,000 sales intially. it all depends on the NA economy though.

@ ken

An el camino could do about everything a 2wd regular cab colorado ranger or tacoma could do couldn't it? Or do you guys think it's dumb to imagine cross shopping a ranger with an el camino? I really believe MOST truck owners don't need the towing, off-road, and payload capacity of their trucks. I live on a large farm and work my trucks about as hard as probably 90 percent or more of truck owners. But I'm sure I could get by most of the time with something like an el camino. Sounds like this el camino you guys are talking about is a sports car with a bed. I just want a simple car with a bed that can average 23 mpg like my old ford taurus. I have done quite a bit of off-road driving through fields and bad dirt roads and whatnot with that car and never had a problem. A SIMPLE(inexpensive) el camino that get's good mpg and has a little more than average ground clearance would be great.

The Utes are built to US specs here and going by previous Holden exports will be price competitive(exchange rates being a big issue). The Camaro which was engineered and slightly design "tweaked" here has been a reasonable success in the USD.

@beebe I have noticed a lot of "chatter" about the Holden Ute on other sites. I wonder if Holden will bring out a more truck like Ute, like the Ford IF this approved? Tradesmen, landscapers etc ,like the ease of driving, ride, low loading and loading aspect of these over a Pickup.

@robert ryan
That thing looks like it would be perfect for me. it may not be as "cool" as a normal truck but it'd be a whole lot better for me than a midsize truck. Perfect run-around light duty vehicle. That's all most truck owners use their trucks for anyways. I really don't like that about most truck owners. They have soo much more capability than they need. Living in Utah for a while seeing 3/4 ton trucks that are used as grocery getters 95 percent of the time. GET REAL PEOPLE!!! I wish manufacturers would get more realistic about our needs when designing trucks. Stop upping the power and capability and just focus on MPG!!! They can't do it though cause that's not what people WANT. most truck buyers are somewhat foolish people that think they need all the capability.


Congratulations! Enjoy a cool little (mid-size) truck.

Dodge needs to take a FIAT product,and create a FWD Rampage before GM decides to do anything with Australia.Imagine a 40 mpg pickup! Maybe with AWD an option! Match that El Camino!

@Paul, that is one thing they will not be doing. What sells in Europe and has its development costs absorbed by that market, is what you get in the US. i.e. Ford Transit Connect and Dodge Sprinter.
@Beebe we have several vehicles that perfectly fit niches in the market, that as yet do not exist in the US i.e. diesel Asian sourced pickups with substantial payloads up to 3000lb, Several "Sprinter" type Vans , better payload and ride.
Silverados, Ford and Ram HD Pickups are mentioned at Caravan and Motorhome Shows, by retirees who want a car/truck to tow a heavy Caravan or 5th Wheeler. IVECO Daily's and Japanese MDT's are also used and they have their advantages and disadvantages over the HD's .
It is a case here of take your pick , what sits you the best.

I wonder whether the Ford Falcon might be a better product for the US, given they could offer a 2.0 Ecoboost or V6 as a 2wd Ranger replacement, or with Coyote power to redefine the term 'sports ute'. Sure the Falcon is not built in LHD but it only needs the LHD-specific items as it is packaging-protected for LHD, the Ecoboost is about to go into the sedan and the V6 was going in before the program was cancelled. A supercharged version of the Coyote 5.0 V8 is currently on sale. As Robert Ryan mentioned earlier it has 2400lb payload, 5100lb towing, has rear chassis rails and a separate bed, and the previous model had a lifted version with 8" ground clearance. Diesel and awd are not impossible either, using Territory SUV driveline & front end components.

@outback ute, 2800lb instead of 2400lb. The Holden AWD Ute was 2,600lb.

Well that is true, but it also does not include a tray in that figure.

Actually another point on the the 100,000 supposedly required, a lot of vehicles would be uneconomic if that is the break-even point for another vehicle variant on an existing platform in annual sales, so it would have to be vehicle life sales. Trouble is the existing Commodore only has another 3 or maybe 4 years to run so it is too late in the cycle - perhaps the next generation might make the numbers work?


If Chevy builds it here in North America, people will buy a correctly-priced El Camino. I want something stylish, with a bit of rear-wheel horsepower, that I can load up at Home Depot in the Morning and then take to a cruise night later in the day.
When will GM ever learn that the bean-counters are never right when it comes to Americans' love affair with cars??

John Harris, National Director
National El Camino Owners Association
18,000+ members strong

Count us in for a New El Camino !

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