In October 2016, the combined total of the three cars in the American muscle car segment was the lowest it has been since October 2014 – the month before the then-new 2015 Dodge Challenger and 2015 Ford Mustang went on sale at full force. Since then, both the Mustang and the Challenger have enjoyed huge sales numbers and a handful of modern-day sales records, but in October 2016, both of those models saw the lowest sales numbers since their newest generations were introduced.
Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Camaro had one of its stronger months of the year, allowing GM to claim the title of the bestselling muscle car for the second month in a row.
Camaro Leads in October 2016
In October 2016, Chevrolet sold 6,277 examples of the Camaro, up roughly 19% from the 5,289 Camaros sold in the same month last year. October sales were down a touch from September, but last month still represented the 4th-best month of Camaro sales since the 6th generation was introduced late in 2015. Overall, Camaro sales are still far below where I had expected them to be when the new generation arrived, with the Chevy muscle car topping off at 7,457 units earlier this year.
The Ford Mustang settled for second place in the October 2016 muscle car sales race with 5,414 units sold. Last month was the worst month for the Mustang since October 2014 – which was the month before the new generation officially went on sale. Since then, Mustang sales have routinely been above the 8,000 mark with eight months of sales over 10,000 units, but over the past two months, Mustang sales have plummeted to their worst of the generation.
Finally, the Dodge Challenger sat in its familiar 3rd place in the muscle car segment with 4,127 units sold in October 2016. As is the case with the Mustang, last month was the worst month for Challenger sales since the new models hit back in late 2014, but the total of 4,127 Mopar muscle cars sold still easily outpaces the average numbers from the previous generation of the Challenger (up until 2014). The good news for Dodge is that with the Challenger T/A and Challenger T/A 392 headed to market very soon, we should see a bit of a spike in sales as buyers rush to snatch up the new high performance, low cost packages.
The Mustang Will Win the 2016 Title
With two months left in the 2016 calendar, the Ford Mustang sits in 1st place in the annual muscle car sales race, leading the Chevrolet Camaro by more than 30,000 units. GM has only sold more than 10,000 Camaros in a single month once during the modern era, and to catch what the Mustang has now – GM would need to average more than 16,000 Camaros per month to come close to Ford’s total. Really, Ford could stop selling Mustangs today and GM still wouldn’t be able to claim the muscle car title.
The good news for GM is that in winning the monthly titles for September and October, the Camaro has pulled away from the Challenger in the battle for 2nd place. Right now, the Camaro is about 5,000 units ahead of the Challenger, so without some sort of amazing feat by Dodge, the Camaro will finish 2nd this year and the Challenger will finish 3rd.