(Paint Color is 93124 Bright Red WA9531)
CAMI Automotive Inc. (CAMI) is an independently incorporated joint venture between Suzuki Motor Corporation and General Motors of Canada Ltd. They are located in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada.
Production began in April of 1989(?) as an opportunity for GM to offer economy cars and Suzuki to access the North American market. Over the years, CAMI has produced various entry-level vehicles such as the Chevy Metro, Pontiac Firefly, Suzuki Swift, Chevy Tracker, Suzuki Sidekick, and the Suzuki Vitara. Currently, CAMI produces the Chevrolet Equinox and the Pontiac Torrent.
With a floor space of 160,000 square meters (1.7 million square feet) and a production capacity of 250,000 vehicles per year, CAMI has produced to date, over 1.9 million vehicles.
The Pontiac Firefly was a marketing and manufacturing variation of the Suzuki Cultus, available in Canada and the Middle East from from 1985 to 1991, and again from 1994 to 2001, as a joint effort of GM and Suzuki.
The Firefly received redesigns in 1989 and 1995, following the product cycle of the Geo/Chevrolet Metro. Only the G10 engine was available from 1987 through 1994, a 1.0 L 3-cylinder unit.
A turbocharged variant of G10 was also available from 1987 to 1991, and fitted only to the Chevy Sprint. The Firefly was not marketed for the 1992 and 1993 model years when the 1993 only 'Asuna' brand introduced the larger 1992 LeMans to replace the Passport Optima and the pre-facelift Firefly.
In 1994, the Firefly returned with a face lift following the demise of the Asuna brand. With the Generation III 1995 redesign, brought about by a market that wanted 'more power', the G13 1.3 L 4-cylinder engine also became available. The Firefly was phased out of production after the 2000 model year, along with its Chevrolet and Suzuki siblings.
From 1991 to 1992, the Firefly was sold in a convertible and in a 4-door sedan. All hatchbacks were manufactured at CAMI, while convertibles and sedans were from sourced from Japanese production.
With model year 2004, the Pontiac Wave, a re-badged Daewoo Kalos, replaced the Firefly.
Now, in 2008, the rising price of oil and a growing awareness of the need to reduce pollution, has finally made the North American public step back and reconsider it's love affair with large gas guzzlers, and interest in these small, fuel efficient vehicles is going through a renaissance. Parts are still readily available, on ebay and elsewhere, 'parts' cars are often available for as little as $200 in my region, (Vancouver, BC, Canada). And running cars can be bought in good condition for anything from $1000 to $2,500 depending on year and condition.
The convertible in particular, made in the Japanese factory at Kosai, and accounting for perhaps 3% of the total (any one know the correct figures for production?) is a fun and economical summer car and when I recently (July 2008) visited a scrap yard in Vancouver and saw 2 of them (both Metros, one red, one yellow) being scrapped I nearly cried! I bought the blue one below a while back, it had had a front end shunt, needed bonnet, wings, headlamps, bumper, radiator etc.
It is currently being restored and will be back on the road, not with the old ICE however. I am converting it to electric, it will have a 8"DC motor and 132V of batteries, mostly using parts from Canadian Electric Vehicles. A gallery of the conversion in progress can be seen here.
Click here to see the parts list