Magna International Inc. has been reassigned the contract to build the convertible top for the Chevrolet Camaro after a rival supplier, Germany's Edscha AG, filed for insolvency last year, according to sources familiar with the matter.
It has also been revealed that General Motors Co. estimates the Camaro convertible production to be about 20,000 units for the first year, making it one of the largest North American ragtop contracts.
The only other model that comes close to this volume is the Ford Mustang, with production of about 20,000 convertibles last year. GM spokesman Adam Denison declined to comment. Industry sources say that the North American convertible system production is at its lowest point in years.
In fact, from January to November 2009, only 41,380 were built. Two years ago, there were 200,000 made. Convertible-top builders reeled under the shock of the sudden reduction. Edscha, which initially had won the Camaro program, was not spared.
Edscha's assets were acquired by Webasto AG, a leading car top supplier, last year. Sources shared that GM had worries that Edscha's troubles would affect its Camaro program.
Due to drastic sales declines last year as well as GM's bankruptcy, several convertible programs were dropped, including the Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Sky and Cadillac XLR roadster.
Those programs were supplied by Magna's Car Top Systems group which also supplies the Corvette convertible. Magna is set to build the Camaro top at its Bowling Green, Ky., plant, with fabric from its Mexican operations. The Aurora, Ontario-based Magna is North America's largest parts maker. [via autonews]