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The El camino, reincarnation?

Updated on July 29, 2009

General motors should bring back the El Camino. It was a car that made history and at this point in time, where cars from the past are being brought back, like the Charger, the Challenger, the Camaro, and current cars like the Mustang are being styled with cues from the past, the El Camino seems a perfect fit. It will provide a wide range of utility for a broader spectrum of consumers, from soccer moms who need it to haul kids and groceries, to people who need it for light industrial work, to people who want it to tear up the track. It will also help raise General Motors' sales to compete with foreign companies.

The El Camino was the second of it's kind when it came out in 1959, with Ford debuting the Ranchero in 1957. It was a revolutionary vehicle, being half car and half truck. It was based off of the Impala in the first generation from 1959 to1960. It was meant to be a luxury vehicle, with light utility capabilities. It came stock with a 237 cubic inch engine. When it returned in 1964, it was based off of the Chevelle, but not having the performance options on it, it was still toned down. It was in 1968 that it received the 396 cubic inch engine option, rendering it a muscle car, putting out almost 400 horse power and in 1970, they came out with the 454 cubic inch engine option, which made it very powerful with almost 500 horsepower. It was only in 1970 that it was this powerful. It then continued on through the mid eighties based on the Monte Carlo. When it was discontinued, many people were very disappointed and wanted it back.

Some people will argue that the El Camino should not be brought back, with the main reason being that there is no room for a gas guzzling car/ truck hybrid with a V8 in this economy. But, because of technological advances, it is possible for a large vehicle to get good, if not better gas mileage than a car. The new Chevy Tahoe Hybrid gets almost 40 miles per gallon, or mpg, and its actually more powerful than the non-hybrid version. The technologies from that truck can be used on the new El Camino. It can have sequential cylinder shutdown, in which at cruising speeds or at any time when power is not needed, the vehicle will shut off up to 4 of its cylinders so it will get better gas mileage. It can also have a hybrid drive motor, which will handle the power below 30 miles per hour. It can also give it more power when it needs it by adding power in addition to the gas engine. It can also be offered with different engines, from four cylinder to V6 to V8, so it will fit into more peoples lives and price ranges. Also, it can be offered in either two wheel drive or all wheel drive, to fit the consumers needs. But, consumers want more than utility, they also want luxury. It can be offered in layouts like a truck, such as two door, extended cab, crew cab, to fit more people into it for big families and extended bed or short bed, again for different needs. As for the people who want to go fast, it is common today to see powered up El Caminos with superchargers, nitrous oxide injection, wide drag slicks, and other performance upgrades. GM can offer a performance package for people who like to go fast. Now this idea leads way to a vehicle that provides for the needs of many, which is good for GM.

It's good because one of the more important reasons it needs to be brought back is that General Motors needs a versitile vehicle to keep sales up. This can be accomplished by “badge engineering.” Many companies have done this and still do this, like Ford, Daimler-Chrysler, and many Japanese companies. They start by taking a vehicle that sells well, changes the options and appearance, and sells it in a different division. Some examples would be the Chevy Cobalt and the Pontiac G5, which the only difference is the front grille, the Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Plymouth Laser, and the Eagle Talon, which only have different body panels, the Ford Escape and the Mazda Tribute, and the lists go on and on. The new Pontiac GTO is a badge engineered Holden Monaco, and the new Pontiac G8 is a Holden Commodore. Holden is General Motors' main company in Australia, and they produce a vehicle called the UTE. It looks like a cross between the new GTO and the El Camino. Some people are talking about how GM may badge engineer it and bring it to America. If they do, they can give it to Pontiac for a cheaper version, Chevrolet for the performance and work horse versions, and to Cadillac or Hummer for a luxury version. This way, all bases are covered and it can lead to higher sales. That can help GM overcome the rising sales of Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda, but Toyota in particular because they over came GM in sales in the United States recently.

The El Camino will be a great addition to GM's line up. Now, when current cars are being styled like cars of the past, the El Camino will be a perfect fit. It also has all GM needs, and provides for the needs of the consumers as it has many uses and can fit into many peoples needs and monetary range. But, most importantly, it will help GM become the top selling car company in the U.S. once again, overcoming Toyota, a feat which will help the slumping economy.


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