Author Topic: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.  (Read 5122 times)

firstgenaddict

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Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« on: October 20, 2019, 05:10:02 PM »
Was reading posts over on the NCRS forums and ran across this little bit of information which JohnZ stated. I knew there were issues with the new model, however I do not believe I have ever seen the specific issues stated or discussed either here, Yenko.net, or Camaros.net.
If this is posted somewhere on the CRG I do not recall seeing it.

LINK -
https://www.ncrs.org/forums/showthread.php?29077-1970-Corvette-Production&p=156090#post156090

John Hinckley (29964)
The extended production year for the '69 Camaro (and late start for the new '70 Camaro) was a result of die tryout failures for the new Camaro quarter panel dies. The die tryout panels exhibited numerous wrinkles and splits, and it required major changes in the first-stage draw dies and draw clamping rings to work out the forming issues before the quarters could be made reliably at production rates. There are lots of "conspiracy theories" that folks like to relate, but they're hogwash. Fisher Body had to do a lot of carving on draw dies and draw rings, and that delayed the program; first time Fisher Body Die Engineering was ever responsible for a delayed launch. Involved a lot of wild last-minute scrambling by both Chevrolet and Fisher Body Purchasing to get both inside and outside suppliers to keep making 1969 parts on lines that were supposed to be in the process of being changed over to the new 1970 parts.
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bcmiller

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2019, 06:36:51 PM »
Right, not sure if it was ever posted on this site. But itís fairly well known. 
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bertfam

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2019, 06:40:12 PM »
Quote
Right, not sure if it was ever posted on this site.

It is and posted HERE.

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vtfb68

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2019, 07:01:19 PM »
Hi guys,
  So the August trim tagged Camaros (like 08E) were counted as September built cars?
    Not completed, or easier to count perhaps?
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william

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2019, 07:29:33 PM »
The trim tag [and date] was not a factor for Chevrolet final-assembly. In comparing the db with the 'last car' VIN for August '69 [N678253] as reported by Chevrolet, many cars with 08E tags were final-assembled in September. Cars were not built in VIN order. The first car final-assembled for September '69 accounting may have had an earlier VIN.

The trim tag date is only a rough approximation of final-assembly. 37 of the 69 ZL1 Camaros have 02D body taqs; all were final-assembled in March.
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firstgenaddict

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2019, 07:52:28 PM »
Quote
Right, not sure if it was ever posted on this site.

It is and posted HERE.


Ed


Thanks, I am sure I have read it, however it was many Camaros ago... lol
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crossboss

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2019, 01:45:27 PM »
Boys,
Wasn't a UAW strike also during this time period?
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william

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2019, 03:05:30 PM »
I believe there was at the Van Nuys plant but not at Norwood.

There were some gaps in Camaro production at Norwood. April 4-13 when Firebird production moved there, July 12-Aug 10 normal model year change over. Which of course, didn't go as planned.
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camaroboy68ss

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2019, 07:27:17 PM »
Boys,
Wasn't a UAW strike also during this time period?

There was a big strike in 1972 that caused alot of half done cars to be scrapped
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70z28lt1

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2019, 08:36:47 PM »
Longest strike in GM history.

Basically over changing Norwood from a Fisher Body plant to GMAD plant.

william

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2019, 09:23:22 PM »
The topic of this thread was the extended production of the 1969 Camaro and Firebird at Norwood. The 1972 strike had nothing to do with it.
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KurtS

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2019, 03:26:33 AM »
The Van Nuys strike went from the end of April til mid-June. You can see this in the monthly totals. They finished the cars that were in process and then started to switch the plant over to 1970 models.
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william

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2019, 03:53:18 PM »
Another lesson in body tag date. The last 800 or so cars built at Van Nuys had 05A body tags; none of them were built in May. The final VIN was L531163. The June 'last car' VIN was L531026. That means at least some of the final 137 cars were built June 30, 1969 but counted as July production.


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fsc66

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2019, 11:57:43 AM »
Van Nuys Article dated; 06/18/69. Thursday resume date would be: 06/19/69.

william

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2019, 03:21:40 PM »
Thanks! Adjusted my production calendar accordingly.
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Kelley W King

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2019, 06:11:01 PM »
Does this that the 05 bodys were started before the strike and then finished when the strike was over?
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william

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2019, 06:25:38 PM »
05A orders were released just prior to the strike but not started. My guess, they completed all the bodies already in process. Can't leave uncoated steel sitting around.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 07:31:27 PM by william »
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KurtS

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2019, 09:11:20 PM »
3400 employees! No plant has even close to that number nowadays. Most are around 1000.
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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2019, 03:19:44 AM »
05A orders were released just prior to the strike but not started. My guess, they completed all the bodies already in process. Can't leave uncoated steel sitting around.

I recall reading in the car mags at the time of that strike, that managers (salaried employees) were attempting to run the lines (very slowly I'm sure, and they would have concentrated on 'critical tasks' like coating uncoated steel, etc...).   At that time, I and I suspect many others, believed that ALL Camaro production was shut down, but at that time I didn't realize most Camaros were built at Norwood which continued to run...  Of course the car mags are/were written/published in the LA area where the VN plant would have been their best information..  Probably where all the 'misinformation' as to 'extended Camaro production' came from all these years....
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JoeC

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2019, 11:42:17 AM »
I think John Delorean had something to do with it, He went from Pontiac to Chevy on 2-15-69
 There are books and Movies about him
found this on Wiki

"The executive offices of General Motors headquarters continued to clash with DeLorean's nonconformity. When he was appointed, Chevrolet was having financial and organizational troubles, and GM president Ed Cole needed a manager in that position to sort things out. The new model Camaro was due out for the 1970 model year, and it was rapidly falling behind schedule. Redesigns for the Corvette and Nova were also delayed, and unit sales had still not recovered from the past four years of turmoil, much of that because of the bad publicity surrounding the Corvair and well-publicized quality-control issues affecting other Chevy models, including defective motor mounts that led to an unprecedented recall of 6.7 million Chevrolets built between 1965 and 1969. DeLorean responded to the production problems by delaying the release of the Camaro, and simplifying the modifications to the Corvette and Nova. He used the extra time to streamline Chevrolet's production overhead and reduce assembly costs. By 1971, Chevrolet was experiencing record sales in excess of 3 million vehicles, and his division alone was nearly matching that of the entire Ford Motor Company."

william

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2019, 12:33:39 PM »
DeLorean wrote a book in the '70s "On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors." A good portion of the book concerns the train wreck he inherited when he became Chevrolet General Manager on February 15, 1969. He mentions no involvement in any of the areas Wiki lists; the delay of the 1970 Camaro was 100% due to the failure of the quarter panel tooling according to people who worked there. He did a great job turning Chevy around and was promoted to GM upper management in 1972. It was a bad fit and he resigned in 1973.
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crossboss

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2019, 01:44:17 PM »
Boys,
Is it possible many circumstances contributed to the 'extension' like Bunkie moving over to Ford, the strike, DeLorean, and the tooling issues?
« Last Edit: October 24, 2019, 03:40:35 PM by crossboss »
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william

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2019, 02:23:02 PM »
No.

There is reason to believe the original plan for 1970 was a basic styling update of the '69. In the Great Camaro, there is a photo of a '69 with some minor changes for the '70 MY. At some point, GM management decided to move the 1971 Camaro/Firebird to 1970. Would have worked if not for the tooling failure. They had a hot mess on their hands as suppliers had already been notified to phase out '69 parts.
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69Z28-RS

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2019, 02:47:23 PM »
*everything* contributes to such management decisions, but..  the reason management would have used publicly is the tooling issues...  One can imagine many more 4-letter words being used than normal in upper management meetings of that time!  :)

Note:  Corvette production was also extended into December, as the '70 Corvette did not debut until January 1970, and all wiki has to say is this...  "An extended production cycle due to a labor dispute increased '69 volume. "

VetteVues had this to say re the extended '69 production:  "A labor dispute in May of 1969 caused the 1969 model run to be stretched over 4 months. This accounts for the high number of Vettes sold this year and the low number in 1970."

I searched but was unable to find any more detailed information regarding the overall GM strikes in 1969, except that there were *many* (412) different strikes of various GM plants in 1969.

It seems the year 1969 was a year of *rebelliousness* across various aspects of our society!  (My own rebelliousness was *restrained* due to being in the US military, but it WAS a very significant year in my own life as well as for many many others!)  :)
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KurtS

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2019, 04:29:39 AM »
*everything* contributes to such management decisions, but..  the reason management would have used publicly is the tooling issues... 
Actually, the tooling issue was never publicized.
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rlw68

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2019, 04:22:51 PM »
DeLorean wrote a book in the '70s "On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors." A good portion of the book concerns the train wreck he inherited when he became Chevrolet General Manager on February 15, 1969. He mentions no involvement in any of the areas Wiki lists; the delay of the 1970 Camaro was 100% due to the failure of the quarter panel tooling according to people who worked there. He did a great job turning Chevy around and was promoted to GM upper management in 1972. It was a bad fit and he resigned in 1973.

Have you watched the movie ? :)  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6256978/

I've heard the 69 model was only one year because of new safety standards.  The 1971 model was moved forward in a hurry.  Might explain why the tooling wasn't ready? 
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KurtS

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2019, 06:50:58 AM »
It wasn't just the tooling wasn't ready, the tooling was wrong.
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JoeC

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Re: Why Camaro production was extended in 1969.
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2019, 03:14:47 PM »
I have the DeLorean book "On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors."

he talks about the motor mount failure as a major crisis in 1969 and GM was slow to take action
says GM ended up recalling 6.7 million cars at a cost of $40 million in 1971

I looked for a reference to the 1970 Camaro late intro and didn't find where he talked about it specifically but he does talk about poor product planning that resulted in getting tooling programs late to the shops and how that was negatively effecting back to back new model changeovers.

he did a study that showed Ford had done a new model change over in as little as 42 days compared  one Chevy new model changeover took 460 days

DeLorean says  the "Fourteenth Floor" was more interested in building a new plant then spending money on reducing downtime for model changeovers

 

anything