CRG Research Report
Camaro Foreign Assembly Plants
© 2010-2013, Camaro Research Group
Reviewed by the CRG
Last Edit: 26-Nov-2013
Previous Edits: 22-Sep-2010, 10-Nov-2010, 24-Aug-2013
Original Release: 11-Mar-2010
1967 Yutivo Camaro - restored
Exports of SUP's
Manila, Philippines Plant
Antwerp, Belgium Plant
Bienne, Switzerland Plant
Caracas, Venuzuela Plant
Lima, Peru Plant
Almost all of the 1967-69 Camaros were built in one of the two U.S. assembly
plants. About 75% of the U.S.-assembled cars were built at the Norwood,
Ohio factory (near Cincinnati) and the balance came from the Van Nuys,
California assembly plant near Los Angeles.
Unbenownst to most people, there were at least five other
Camaro assembly plants. These assembly plants were constructed in
countries that required local assembly and
content (either as outright requirements or due to high import taxes).
Camaros were assembled at these five overseas factories: the Yutivo factory
in Manila, Philippines (the subject of a CRG
research article); GM Continental in Antwerp, Belgium; GM Suisse
in Bienne, Switzerland; GM de Venezolana in Caracas, Venezuela; and
GM del Peru in Lima, Peru.
GM had other plants in various markets throughout the world that also
built U.S.-designed vehicles, including Australia and Argentina, but they
didn't build Camaros.
All of these non-U.S. plants and the export activities were managed by GMOO
(GM Overseas Operations) and GMODC (GM Overseas Distribution Corporation).
We would be interested in talking to anyone who worked for either of these GM
groups or who owns a foreign assembled or homologated car. Please contact us
via email or via a post on the CRG forum.
The published Camaro production totals differ from the production totals
from the Norwood and Los Angeles plants. The variance is 1200 units in
1967 and 1248 units in 1968. The 1969 totals match.
It is not known if the unaccounted cars in the production totals
were from the production of the foreign plants, but the numbers appear to
be close to the approximate production of the foreign plants in 67 and 68.
(It's obvious that for at least 69, that is not true since since known
foreign production added to known domestic production totals is more
than the published 1969 production total of 243,085 units.)
All of the non-U.S. factories assembled Camaros from "completely knocked
down" (CKD) kits. Parts and subassemblies for CKD export units
were shipped to a central collection point (called a "boxing plant"),
consolidated into kits, then packed into containers for shipment overseas
to small GM joint-venture and contractor-operated assembly operations.
The boxing plant was located in Bloomfield, NJ and was managed by
GM Overseas Operations. With twenty-four cars in the typical export car order
(XCO) and generally six CKD kits to a container, that meant four containers were
required per XCO.
As the name implies, CKD cars had bodies that needed to be assembled from
individual sheetmetal stampings. Major body sub-assemblies
(floorpan, LH/RH side panels, front and rear ends) were built
by the plant, and then those were finally joined together in a master jig.
Engines, transmissions, and axles were shipped from the U.S. or Canada
as complete assemblies. Tires, glass, batteries, and interior parts
were often locally sourced. A more complete description of
the CKD assembly process can be found in the
Exports of SUP's
Driving light added to a 1967 Camaro prior to sale in France
The Norwood plant built all assembled Camaros, known
as "Single-Unit Pack" or SUPs, that were exported. These
SUP's were models sent to countries that did not have an assembly plant
or that the local assembly plants did not build, e.g. convertibles or
SS models. Exports to Canada went directly via rail and truck. The non-Canadian
export units were rail-shipped to "Mortensen's Warehouse" (a contractor to
Chevrolet) at the Port of Baltimore, who handled export
preparations (wax and oil spray, etc.) and loaded them on ships.
When cars were exported as SUP's, they had U.S. VINs and trim tags. Upon
importation to the destination country, the cars were then
modified to meet local requirements as needed, e.g. seatbelts, driving lights,
mirrors, etc. and often had a homologation tag attached to the firewall.
Some CKD cars were exported to nearby contries - for example, Antwerp sent
cars to Germany. But most countries without a CKD plant imported most/all
of their Camaros from the U.S.
GM International in Copenhagen imported cars into Denmark. Despite having a
CKD plant in a neighboring country, both Chile and France imported cars from
the U.S. Over 200 cars were imported into Sweden whereas only a few were
imported into Japan. GM Limited imported cars for the U.K. market, though it's
not known if they were only from the US or also from Antwerp. There were no
67-69 Camaros exported by GM to Australia (due to the right-hand drive
requirements), but a few were imported and converted by private companies.
A total of 4991 Camaros were exported to countries other than Canada in 67.
Unfortunately, there are no export totals for 68 or 69.
An export Camaro can normally be identified via the trim tag.
- Most (but not all) 1967's that were exported will have a 5O stamped
in the option field on the bottom of
the trim tag, denoting seatbelt delete. Seatbelts that met local requirements
were installed when the cars were homologated.
- 1968 export cars used the earlier 'Magic Mirror' style trim tag (see the
1968 Caracas tag below).
- 1969 export cars used a standard 1969 trim tag, but without
the conformance statement stamped on the bottom of the tag (see the
1969 Caracas tag below)
The Yutivo plant in Manila, Philippines was a franchised assembler of GM vehicles
since 1953. (Unlike other foreign operations, the plant was not a GM subsidiary -
GM did not own nor operate the plant.) Camaros were
assembled there from 1967 to 1969. All Yutivo cars had L22/155 hp
6-cylinder engines and the choice of either 3-speed manual or 2-speed automatic
transmission. They also had tinted glass, clocks, and consoles. It was believed
the cars had power steering and were Rally Sports, but several have been found with
manual steering and several 67's have had style trim but have not been RS's.
Other options were available via installation by the dealer.
The exact production quantities are unknown, but from management-supplied
information confirmed by VIN's found to date, production was between 100 and
300 cars per year, probably closer to the lower number. For more information
about the plant, see the Yutivo plant article.
Yutivo used a ID tag attached to the passenger-side cowl that contained the
VIN and the interior and exterior colors.
The VIN format was a modified U.S.-format VIN with 14 digits instead of the normal 13
digits. Looking at the example below, "12337" is the style code for a Chevrolet
Camaro 6-cylinder coupe. The "9" that follows represents the model year, 1969.
The plant code was "Y" for Yutivo (note that Y was also used by GM for the Wilmington,
DE assembly plant). The next 6 numbers "184019" were the Export Car
Order (XCO) number followed by a letter. The XCO numbers started at 150000 in 67,
120000 in 68, and 184000 in 69. The letters A-Z (excluding I and O) indicated
the unit number in the XCO. So there would be a 123379N184019A and a 123379N184019B, etc.
Note that the other carlines that Yutivo made also used XCO numbers (i.e. XCO 184018
probably is a non-Camaro XCO).
The paint code format varied from year to year. The 67 codes were 5-6 digits, but their
meaning is unknown. The 68 paint codes appear to be a DuPont paint formula, but they have
not been cross-referenceable to a paint color.
The 69 paint codes were three digits. Some codes may match the U.S window sticker
RPO color codes, e.g. 917, but the
meaning of other codes, e.g. 906, is unknown.
The interior trim codes were the same as the U.S.
interior codes except that in 67, it
did not include the suffix for the headrest / seat type.
1969 Yutivo Trim Tag
Production in Antwerp has a long history, going back to 1925 when it
assembled Chevrolets primarily for the Belgian, the Netherlands, and German markets
under the name General Motors Continental. The factory was destroyed in WWII and new
facilities were constructed in 1953 and expanded in 1967.
The plant assembled 1967 and 1968 Camaros from CKD kits. Total CKD Chevrolet
production in 67 was 1497 and 1139 in 68. Unfortunately the production
quantities are not broken down by model, so the number of Camaros in that total
are unknown. At the end of the 1968 model year, Chevrolet
production ceased at Antwerp and the 69's were imported.
The powertrain options on the Antwerp-built cars included either the L26/140 hp L6
engine or the LF7 327/210 hp engine and either a Powerglide automatic or a manual
4-speed transmission. Cars were well-optioned; possible options included power disc
brakes, power steering, console, rear defroster, fold-down rear seat, gauges,
and deluxe interior.
The plant also homologated U.S.-produced 67-69 Camaros for the European market
by adding marker lights, Euro-spec seatbelts, and other European requirements / features.
1967 cars that were homologated also received an Antwerp tag with an Antwerp VIN. On at least
one car, the Norwood VIN was still attached, so the car had two VIN's! On other cars,
it appears the Norwood VIN was removed. This is still an area of research, but Antwerp
did not homologate many Camaros in 67, so there is little data.
On 68 or 69 cars that were homologated, the Antwerp data tag was added, with the U.S. VIN
on it. Antwerp would also attach a German homologation tag to the firewall if the car was
intended for sale in Germany.
One of the most unique features installed by the Antwerp plant was
sunroofs. Sunroofs were made by a German supplier and were optionally installed
on both Antwerp-assembled vehicles and imported vehicles. When the sunroof was
added to imported SUP's, a vinyl top was also installed (to hide distortions
in the roof panel).
VIN's for the Antwerp cars were based on the U.S. VIN format with three
1967 German Homologation Tag
Factory Installed Camaro Sunroof
Examples of typical Antwerp VIN's would be 12537GX100123 or 12437HX101121.
The General Motors Continental Antwerp tag was mounted on the passenger-side
of the cowl. The 1967 tag was stamped with the following information:
- For 67 cars, the third digit of the VIN changed depend on if the car had
standard or deluxe interior. This was the only known application of the otherwise
unused original series designation.
The third digit was 3 or 4 for standard interior and 5 or 6 for deluxe interior.
- The year was indicated with a letter: G = 1967 and H = 1968.
- The plant code was X.
Line 1: Make and model.
Line 2: Engine No., which was the
engine code and an 4-digit engine number (not related to the VIN) that the
plant generated and also stamped on the engine pad,
and the model number (e.g. 12537, which used the
original Camaro series designation).
Line 3: Chassis No., aka the VIN.
Line 4: Release number and the exterior color code. The Release
number was an internal tracking number for the unit that may have been a reference to
the XCO number. The paint code generally used
Opel paint color codes.
Line 5 was the interior trim code, which was the same as the U.S.
interior codes except that it did
not include the suffix for the headrest / seat type. The weight fields (GVW and
PVA) were not filled in.
1967 Antwerp Trim Tag
The tag changed in 1968. The tag now had recessed fields where the information
was typed. The same information was on the tag (though in different locations)
with the notable exception of the removal of the Engine No. field.
1968 Antwerp Trim Tag
GM Suisse Grille Emblem
The General Motors Suisse SA plant was located in Bienne (the town
is called Bienne in French and Biel in German) in western Switzerland.
It produced Chevrolets, Vauxhalls, and Opels. The plant also homologated SUP's.
It ceased production of Camaros and other Chevrolet models after 1968.
Total Chevrolet production was 511 in 1967 and 343 in 1968, mostly for the
Swiss market. Unfortunately the production
quantities are not broken down by model, but by the VIN's observed so
far, there were just over 200 67 Camaros made. We don't have much data
on 68 Swiss Camaros, but there were at least 80 produced.
Cars that were assembled by the Bienne plant received a
unique emblem on the grille representing the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau
peaks and bearing the words "General Motors Montage Suisse" -
Montage Suisse meaning "Made In Switzerland". Emblems on homologated cars
had "General Motors Suisse SA Bienne" on them, since the cars weren't made in
1967 Swiss Homologation Document BT5776
Swiss Camaros were unique in that they were the only production application of the
283 cu. in. V8 engine in any Camaro. This was done for tax reasons (the tax was based
on engine displacement). The 230 cu. in. L6 and the 283 V8 was used in 1967 models. The 1968
models used the 327/210 hp engine and presumably the L6 too, but no 1968 L6 Swiss cars have
been found so far. The transmission choice was either a Powerglide automatic or a manual 4-speed.
Most cars had several options such as power windows, rear defroster, console,
power disc brakes, power steering, and deluxe interior.
The Swiss plant took the most liberties of any plant with the VIN. The format was
S9-YY5xxx where YY was the year, 67 or 68. 5 was the code for Camaro (also used on U.S.
window stickers). xxx was the consecutive serial number. The VIN on the tag below
is S9-675199. The VIN was attached to the dash and also was stamped on the cowl
The cowl tag four lines of information:
Line 1: Make and road homologation document.
The homologation document (called a type certificate by the Swiss) confirms
that the model is in compliance with Swiss traffic laws. This
document will be on-file with the Swiss authorities and an example is shown
to the right.
Line 2: Model and model number, release number. Like the Antwerp cars,
this is an internal tracking number. It appears to be the XCO number and the
unit number in the XCO.
Line 3: Motor code and exterior color. The motor code is the engine suffix stamped
on the engine pad. The exterior color codes use an X and
then a 3-digit number. The meaning of the color code is undetermined.
Line 4: Chassis number (VIN) and interior trim. The interior trim code also
uses an unknown code format. It is in the form of XJ and then a 3-digit number.
1967 Swiss Trim Tag
This South American plant was located at La Yaguara in Caracas, Venezuela and started
production in 1948. They produced Camaros and Novas in 1968 and 1969 and also
produced Malibus (starting about 1969), full-size cars, and pickups. From the VIN's
observed, it appears that the total plant production was between 10,000 and 13,000
annually. There is no breakdown of how many Camaros were built.
The 68 Camaros used the L30 (327/275hp) engine while the 69's use the LM1 350 or the
L65 350. The cars were pretty well optioned with Rally Sport, power steering, power
brakes, console, clock, and HD radiator. There was a choice between automatic and 4-speed
manual transmissions. It's believed the cars with automatics also had AC and power windows.
Color combinations were apparently somewhat limited - dark blue with
blue standard interior and white with red standard interior were the most common
The VIN was stamped on a plate attached to the dash in the normal location.
The format used the U.S. VIN format but with the year indicated by a letter: H = 1968,
J=1969. The plant code was C for Caracas (note that C was also used for the
Southgate, CA assembly plant).
One late-69 Caracas car has been found with a K (K = 1970) VIN. This would
indicate that the plant was notified that the 1969 body style was going to be used
for 1970, but that plan changed. 1969 production was instead
extended for 4 months.
The firewall tag used a U.S. trim tag. In 68, the tag was the earlier
"Magic Mirror" design (also used on 68 export cars) that did not have the U.S.
conformance statement on it. In 69, the tag was the normal
69 tag, but without the U.S. conformance statement stamped on it. The firewall tag
was stamped with the VIN (unlike U.S. cars) and the interior and exterior
color codes. Whereas the interior codes used the normal U.S. format, the exterior color
codes used several different formats with six, eight, or nine digits. Some resemble
DuPont paint codes, but only one observed code matches a known DuPont code.
1968 Caracas Trim Tag
1969 Caracas Trim Tag
General Motors del Peru S.A. operated an assembly plant in Lima, Peru that
was first opened in 1945.
A new plant was constructed in Lima in 1965 and it built most of the Chevrolet car and
truck models. Camaros were built there in at least 1967 and 1968. Information about this plant is
limited. The plant was closed in 1970.
The Peruvian Camaros apparently did not have a trim tag, only the VIN tag.
The VIN used the U.S. VIN format but with the year indicated by a letter: H = 1968.
The plant code was P for Peru. There were only 5 digits in the consecutive serial
number after the plant code instead of the normal 6 digits.
An example of a VIN would 12437HP11111.
I wish to thank the numerous people who supplied information
used in researching and writing this report.
Of notable mention:
Santiago Montenegro for his research of the Caracas plant.
Claus Nielsen for his research of the
Jan Suhr for his research on the Antwerp cars.
Alex Beeler for his research on the Swiss cars and documentation.
David Hayward and his
GM Worldwide information page.
James Hurt's export Corvette research.