Parts Supplier Bankruptcy Could Delay Camaro Debut

The all new Chevrolet Camaro isn’t the car that will make General Motors, but it certainly could become the one to break the automaker if problems with a major parts supplier manages to delay its February 17, 2009 introduction. Thanks to the August 2008 bankruptcy filing of Cadence Innovation, GM may not have a supplier available to make door panels and other key components for Chevy’s iconic pony car. As of this writing the supply company is liquidating its assets while still possessing the equipment that GM loaned the company to build the needed parts.

GM is suing Cadence in a bid to acquire Camaro specific tooling and parts from Cadence by January 12th to give to a new supplier who would provide finished parts to keep the Camaro on schedule. Even a one day delay could cost the automaker millions of dollars as the company’s Oshawa, Ontario assembly plant would be shut down until all Camaro components are in place.

In December 2008, GM received a huge gift in the form of a 9.4 billion dollar loan package from the federal government. That package is expected to see GM through the next several months as the automaker brings new products to the market, including the Camaro, slashes costs, and restructures. If the Camaro is delayed it could impact the company’s recovery, possibly forcing GM into federal ordered and guided bankruptcy.

The Chevrolet Camaro is one of several new models GM plans to release in 2009, passenger vehicles the automaker hopes will stem the company’s sales slide which picked up steam in 2008 as gas prices rose and consumers opted for smaller vehicles made the company’s competitors. By late summer when credit began to dry up, GM faced another problem: buyers couldn’t secure credit to purchase a new vehicle, with tens of thousands of consumers locked out of the market.

Other vehicles that GM plans to debut in 2009 include the Cadillac SRX, Pontiac G3, Cadillac CTS coupe, Buick LaCrosse, and Chevrolet Equinox. No one model is expected to shake things up for GM, but collectively the automaker expects that its updated fleet will make the company competitive once again.