Over the past seven years, I have been covering muscle car segment sales, setting up a simple spreadsheet which has the monthly sales numbers for the Dodge Challenger, the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro. Each month, the car which leads the segment in sales has its number highlighted in red while the second place car is highlighted in green and the number for the third place car remains white.
During those seven years, the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro have taken turns leading the segment from month to month, with a great many red and green boxes in the spreadsheet columns for each of those vehicles. On the other hand, the column for the Dodge Challenger is most white with a few green cells scattered here and there along the way.
Never before in my seven years of covering muscle car sales have I highlighted a Dodge Challenger cell red, as never before (since the Camaro was introduced for the 2010 model year) has the Challenger been the bestselling muscle car – but that changed today. As I checked the press releases from Ford, GM and FCA, I found that the Mustang had a relatively slow sales month while the Camaro posted another poor sales month, but the Dodge Challenger saw its second best sales month of 2017 and its sixth-best sales month ever.
As a result of the strong month by the Challenger and the lackluster months for both the Mustang and Camaro, the Dodge brand did something that it hasn’t done since the 1970s – it officially offered the bestselling muscle car in America. Of course, with the muscle cars being the bestselling sporty cars in America, the Dodge Challenger is also the bestselling sporty car in America and the bestselling 2-door coupe in America.
June 2017 Sales
In June 2017, Dodge sold 6,605 examples of the Challenger, which is down a few hundred units from May 2017, but June 2017’s total was more than a thousand units better than the same month last year. The best sales month for the modern Challenger came in May 2015 when the company sold 7,438 units and the best sales month of 2017 came last month when 6,989 units were sold, but if we look back through monthly Challenger sales since the late-2007 introduction – June 2017 is the sixth best sales month for the modern Mopar muscle car.
The Ford Mustang finished second in June 2017 sales with 6,186 units sold. The June 2017 number represents a big drop from the month before and from the same month in 2016, so it appears as though the “new model sales wave” which the Mustang has been riding since late in 2014 has lost its strength as numbers remain low through what had previously been peak sales months for the Ford pony car.
The Chevrolet Camaro had another awful sales month in June 2017, moving just 4,691 units. That number represents a drop of nearly 3,200 units from May 2017 along with being down around 200 units from June 2016. Camaro sales have been poor since the new model hit dealerships and while a jump in sales earlier this year gave some hope to Chevy fans hoping to see their favorite muscle car win the annual sales race in 2017 – the June drop seems to dose those hopes.
Halfway through 2017
With June sales on the books, the 2017 sales year is halfway over and once again, the Ford Mustang holds the lead in the annual race with a total of 44,608 units sold. The Chevrolet Camaro is in second place with 36,567 units sold and the Dodge Challenger is close behind in third with 35,910 muscle cars sold in the first half of 2017.
Realistically, it will be hard for the Challenger or Camaro to catch the Mustang in the annual race without some sort of massive spike in Dodge or Chevy muscle sales or a massive decline in Mustang sales. Neither of those situations are likely to happen, so it looks as though the Mustang will race to another annual muscle car title, but in the meantime, the folks at Dodge must have very excited that their muscle car – which hasn’t been completely refreshed since it was introduced for the 2008 model year – can still hang with the fairly new Mustang and Camaro in terms of monthly sales.