Dodge Challenger is the Bestselling Two-Door in America for 2020 Q3
The auto industry has been hit harder than most by the Covid-19 pandemic with sales down across just about every segment. Not surprisingly, the segment comprised of the Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro has seen a similar dip in sales to less exciting models, but the Mopar muscle car has taken the hit better than the competitors. The Challenger has the lowest year-over-year sales decline of the three during the third quarter of 2020, allowing Dodge to take the Q3 win over Ford and Chevrolet.
This comes as a bit of a surprise, considering the fact that Dodge dealerships have been struggling to maintain Challenger inventory, but it is clear that the Mopar muscle cars that are being shipped from Canada to the United States are quickly being snatched up in a hurry.
Challenger Relatively Strong in Q3
During the months of July, August and September 2020, FCA delivered 16,332 examples of the Dodge Challenger. That is a decrease of 9% from the same period in 2019, but a 9% decrease is the smallest decline in the segment. The Mustang was down 17.7% in the third quarter, moving just 13,851 units, and the Camaro dropped by a whopping 32%, with just 8,336 Chevy muscle cars reaching new owners.
As you likely know, all three of the American automakers transitioned to the quarterly sales reporting method rather than monthly over the past few years. General Motors was the first to make the jump, starting with the second quarter of 2018. Ford began quarterly reporting at the start of 2019 and FCA ended the monthly reporting after June 2019. Since then, we have only quarterly sales numbers, but for those who prefer monthly figures, we can still look at averages.
During the third quarter of 2020, Dodge averaged 5,444 Challengers sold each month. The Ford Mustang averaged 4,617 units sold each month from July through September and the Camaro was a distant third with 2,788 Chevys sold. That average number is lower than any monthly Camaro sales figure dating back to the introduction of the modern car late in 2009. Meanwhile, the monthly averages for the Challenger and Mustang are bad, but not horrible.
Finally, the bestselling sporty two-door car in America outside of the muscle car trio is the Corvette, with 6,355 units sold. That is 33% more than the same period last year.
Ford Leads the Annual Race
While the Challenger led the third quarter by a significant margin, the Ford Mustang won the first and second quarters of 2020. As a result, the Mustang still has a pretty significant lead in the annual race.
Right now, the Mustang leads the segment with 47,637 units sold, down 14% from the same period in 2019. The Challenger is second with 38,350 units sold, down 18% from Q3 2019 and the Camaro is a distant third with 22,226 units sold, down 40% from the year before.
The Challenger trails the Mustang by more than 9,200 units. While it is not mathematically impossible for Dodge to make up that gap over the next three months, it is highly unlikely that the Challenger would outsell the Mustang by an average of over 3,000 units per month in October, November and December. That is what it would take for Ford to slip from the top spot in the segment and that probably isn’t going to happen. As a result, the Challenger will likely finished second in sales for 2020, with the Mustang taking the win once again.
As for the Camaro, the end of this generation cannot come soon enough. Right now, the Camaro is on pace to sell roughly 29,635 units this year. The worst sales year ever for the Camaro was 2001, when just 29,009 units sold. Should Camaro sales fade through the final few months of this year, 2020 will likely be the worst sales year for the Chevy muscle car ever. More importantly, when General Motors discontinued the Camaro after 2002, there had been the very poor sales year in 2001, but in the years before and after that, Chevy sold more than 40,000 Camaros and the model was still killed off. Right now, it appears as though the Camaro is going to coast off into history, as there are rumors that there are no plans for a next generation.
As badly as things are going for Chevrolet and the Camaro, the Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang are both selling fairly well during these unusual times.
Patrick Rall is a professional writer and photographer with a passion for all things automotive. Patrick has been sharing his automotive expertise in automotive journalism from Detroit for more than a decade covering the Big Three. Having grown up in his father’s performance shop, he spent extensive time at the oval track and drag strip – both driving and wrenching on various types of vehicles. In addition to working as a writer, Patrick previously worked as an automotive technician before moving on to a business office position with a chain of dealerships, and this broad spectrum of experience in the industry allows him to offer a unique look on the automotive world. Follow Patrick on Youtube and Twitter. Find more of Patrick's stories at Torque News Dodge. Search Torque News Dodge for more Dodge Challenger and Charger coverage from our expert reporters.