- The Washington Times - Friday, September 28, 2001

General Motors Corp. announced Tuesday the 2002 model year will be the last for the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird.

The Ste. Therese, Quebec, assembly plant where they are produced will close next September.

GM blamed the demise of the Camaro and Firebird on a 53 percent decline in the market for those models since 1990. Even the muscle cars were not strong enough to beat back the growth in popularity of sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.

More than 4 million Camaros have been sold since the model was introduced in 1967.

The cars will not be directly replaced, but the new Chevrolet SSR, available next year, is expected to attract some Camaro and Firebird buyers. The vehicle is a cross between a roadster and the now extinct cult favorite El Camino.

Pontiac will offer the new Vibe GT, Bonneville SSEi and supercharged Grand Prix GTP. The Ste. Therese plant opened in 1965 and has built the Chevrolet Celebrity and Monza, and Pontiac Grand Prix along with the Camaro and Firebird.

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