2019 Chevrolet Camaro: Why it costs $85,990 in Australia

HSV wants a lot more than the price of a Mustang, but buying stock and switching to RHD doesn’t come cheap

Chev Camaro Front Qtr Jpg

THE Chevrolet Camaro will cost nearly $86K. Yep, that’s a fair bit cheaper than most estimates but let’s not lose sight of the fact that Ford’s latest Mustang GT carries a sticker price that’s $20K more affordable, at a smidge over $66K. You’re going to need to ask yourself if exclusivity and novelty is enough to bridge that gulf.

Of course, HSV is bullish about the car’s prospects and with good reason. Only 550 are coming into the country during the first years and these right-hook 2SS spec cars are stacked with gear. Heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel (it was born in Michigan, remember), dual zone climate control, a Bose stereo, four drive modes, power sunroof, wireless phone charging, integrated garage door opener: the list goes on. In fact, the only available option is metallic paint at $850.

We sat down with HSV to talk through the Camaro’s pricing and Damon Paull, HSV’s General Manager of Marketing and Planning, walked us through the process of arriving at a final number.

“Given the amount of engineering work, tooling and development, certification, and validation required to move the steering wheel from the left-hand side to the right-hand side, plus the niche volume and the impact of luxury car tax, we are confident our customers will recognise the value equation,” he explained.

He then listed the costs involved in that process. Aside from the core vehicle cost, there are the funding and finance charges on that vehicle, exchange rate losses, ocean freighting across the Pacific, import duty, and landed freight and storage. That’s before HSV has even seen the car.

In order to convert the car to right-hook, there are tooling and development recovery costs, facility and manufacturing recovery costs as well as piece costs for interior hardware and underbody modifications. Labour costs add to that, as Paull estimates that there’s over 100 man hours per car to undertake the conversion and validations. Add warranty, roadside assistance and the not inconsequential slug of LCT and GST and you’ll appreciate that the Camaro isn’t a car that can ever be sensibly price matched against Mustang GT, on these shores at least.

Ask anybody who has had a Corvette converted to right-hand drive in Australia and they’ll have been landed with a bill closer to $35K than $20K for the job, so it’s clear that Camaro buyers aren’t being fleeced. And if our head to head review of Camaro versus facelift Mustang proved, the Chevy is a harder, angrier thing than the Mustang and that ought to play well with a domestic audience that has a bit of 6.2-litre GM in its genes. Hit up the comments and let us know if you’re tempted to be one of the lucky 550.


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