Patrick Rall's picture

Ford Mustang Beats Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger in April Sales

For the 4th time this year and the 18th consecutive month, the Ford Mustang has outsold the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger, making the Mustang the bestselling sporty car in America as the new model continues its domination of the global performance car sales.
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I am beginning to sound like a broken record, but with the Ford Mustang beating the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger in April 2016 sales, the Mustang has now beaten the cross town rivals (and every other sporty car sold in America) for 18 straight months. The all-new 2015 Ford Mustang first reached dealerships in November 2014 and since them, no other 2-door car in America has outsold the newest Ford pony car. Even with the arrival of the new Chevrolet Camaro, the Mustang’s domination of the segment is barely affected as the Motor Company looks at a second straight muscle car sales title.

Mustang’s Big April Numbers
In April 2016, Ford sold 12,726 examples of the Mustang in the United States while Chevrolet sold just 7,457 examples of the Camaro and Dodge sold just 6,412 examples of the Challenger. Mustang sales are down slightly compared to the same month last year, but with more than 12,000 units sold for just the 5th time in the 5 years that I’ve been covering muscle car sales – all of which came since the 2015 Mustang was introduced.

On the year, Ford has now sold 42,862 examples of the 2015 and 2016 Mustang and while this is down slightly from the 42,995 Mustangs sold in the first 4 months of 2015, this is still a remarkable number of performance cars to sell for a car that is now well beyond the “honeymoon stage”. At this point, Mustang sales aren’t high because of the rush to get a hot, new version – it is just a steady rush to get a car that has proven to be a smashing success.

Early on in the life cycle of the new Ford Mustang, critics insisted that the high sales numbers were due to the rush for the new models and those folks insisted that once the early rush faded, sales numbers would drop back down to where they have been in the past few years – typically well below 8,000 units per month. However, after 18 months of 2015-2016 Mustang sales, the numbers have remained very high, with the worst month coming in February 2016, when “only” 8,454 Mustangs were sold.

Those critics who insisted that the Ford Mustang sales would slump when the magic of the new model wore off also insisted that when the new Chevrolet Camaro arrived for the 2016 model year, it would see similar big sales numbers while also cutting into Mustang numbers. After 6 months of new Camaro sales, the new Chevy muscle car still hasn’t seen the big spike – nor has there been much cut into the Mustang’s sales numbers.

Camaro Grows a Little in April
General Motors sold 7,457 examples of the Chevrolet Camaro in April 2016, beating the Dodge Challenger by over a thousand units, but trailing the Mustang by more than 5,200 units. April is the best month for the new Camaro, but the best month for the new Camaro is right around a thousand units less than the new Mustang’s worst month. In short, the Camaro has not seen the spike in sales from the new model, with sales numbers of the 2016 model trailing many of the monthly sales numbers from the 2014 and 2015 calendar years – when only the “old” models were available.

I have driven and loved the new V6 Camaro Convertible and it blows my mind that we aren’t seeing greater Camaro sales numbers, so I am without a real explanation as to why we aren’t seeing more new Camaros sold each month.

Dodge Challenger Charges Along
The Dodge Challenger was down by about 300 units in April 2016 compared to the same month last year, but with 6,412 muscle cars sold last month, it was still the best month for the Challenger since June 2015. In fact, April 2016 was the 4th best sales month for the modern Challenger, with April, May and June of 2015 all being the only months where Dodge has ever sold more muscle cars than they did in April 2016.

It wasn’t the best month for the Dodge Challenger, but it was one of the best.


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Comments

Just my two dollars worth but I believe the reason the Camaro is struggling is its just not much different to look at from the model it replaces for most. When the previous Camaro was released it was a huge step forward. It looked like nothing else it made a huge jump from anything else. It paid tribute obviously to its origins but also added a real 21st century look. Now the "new Camaro" is a nip here a sharper line there etc... Not enough to set it a part. And conversely this is the reason for the Mustangs success this time around. The new car has made that huge step. it's appeal is almost universal. Beautiful shape with solid improvements in many areas. Ultimately if your a Chev or Ford diehard it matters and each will argue mine has more power, but the ZL1 is a second faster around this track, the GT350 revs to and so on. But for everyone else it's just a great time to love a bit of American muscle. And yes I've voted with my wallet I have a new Mustang GT premium on its way.
I have owned several mustangs way before they are today. I have to say id probably buy the 2016 GT or 350 "new" over a Chevy . But what led me to comment on this was seeing what 2014 Camaro Z28's are priced at used or leftover. Yep, I know it's 2016 but I seen these Z cars sit at local dealers for a long time. Now going at prices between $30-$35k with very very low miles. I may buy 1. So much car for that price. They had trouble selling because Chevy dealers stuck to sticker and of course at that price a couple more grand buys a corvette . If I didn't mention these Z cars had sticker price of almost $60k. Honestly I'd be luckier to find a pot of gold than anyone I know in my 37 years of age who wouldn't go pick up a high end performance sedan over dropping such cash on a limited weather car. I myself would drive over to an Audi dealer and buy a manual S4 for $50k and drive it Dailey rain s$#t or snow. And who cares ? Drive what ya want but I was putting some ideas out there for anyone buying a sports car! Kind of a tough segment of cars anymore. Glad to see them selling at all with all the performance sedans that offer AWD and can be as fun to drive.
If you buy a Z you need to recognize without those tires it's a dangers car to drive - be prepared to replace them yearly and your talking $800 a tire x4 $2400.
Wrong, its not styling its pricing, Base pricing jumped 3 or 4k over last year. Options can add almost $10k.
Hopefully the Mustang will not rust out like the Challenger immediately after the warranty expires. And Dodge says tough luck!
I am a 2015 Camaro RS owner and personally I do not like what they did to the back of the camaro and the fact that they took 2 inches of the width. Most people don't care if the car is 300 lbs lighter. They want something worth the money and something that looks great. The back of the car just kills it for me. I will not be buying another camaro unless they change the back. Many of the people that I have talked to about it say the same thing.
We own a Dodge Challenger; did not opt for a Chevy Camaro, or Ford Mustang. FCA is the automaker which still produces the muscle, combined with retro style bodies. FCA is continually moving forward in making advances with automotive techniques, a continuum of management focused upon the consumer needs. We see more being done in the way of FCA than Chevy or Ford. Seeing that all cars are now being formed with Unit Bodies or "Unibodies", they are all basically the same in the way of manufacturing. However, we prefer a more roomy interior, and larger trunk space with the Challenger which neither the Chevy nor Ford have. More so, FCA is keeping the consumer abreast of all issues relating to any (TSB's) and recalls which can only be viewed as an added benefit.
That is terrific and I have heard similar comments from other Chrysler owners basically yes Chrysler vehicles have more issues than other cars, however Chrysler dealers won't argue the point they will just fix them. I have a friend that switched from Toyota to Chrysler solely for that reason. Of Chrysler products a Jeep Wrangler or GC would be on my list.
We've only had one recall for our 2013 Dodge Challenger, the Denso alternator (P60) recall. Prior to the recall, we experienced no issues, none relating to the performance of the aforesaid vehicle. I've always owned Oldsmobile mainly, a 68' Chevy Malibu, 69' Chevy Camaro Rally Sport, 73' Dodge Custom 'Braggin Wagon' displayed at a local mall which I purchased ( You know, the shag interior, t.v., custom ice box, port hole windows, and customized paint; actually I believe Avtek was the aftermarket company. Dodge manufactures good cars but they should not toss the parts in the yard prior to assembly. we learned this from first hand knowledge in which we were amazed. We have fully documented our 2013 Dodge Challenger, including every mile driven that can be fully corroborated. irrespective of triviality there is not any other vehicle i would wish to own for they all basically have the same platform, same plastic parts, and all use the same people to provide the components to outfit their vehicles; namely China and Brazil in using different heads on each side of the motor. Who would have fathomed such a thing. All manufactures are operating in the same way, only to bring in more revenue due to the high labor rate. These facets have diminished my zeal for cars as my interest, as well as many have diminished.
One irony with sales of the Camaro being softer than expected is................its the latest Alpha platform car to impress the automotive media with its performance and feel, but then disappoint in sales performance? The ATS and CTS have sold very poorly. Granted, it's still early for the Camaro, but I'm sure many were expecting something closer to 10K per month. Meanwhile over at Ford, the Mustang continues to rack up big numbers, over 12K "over the curb" again.
The new camaro is a better car but not appealing. It reminds me of the malibu last generation. Chevy will end up putting another generation model sooner then you think.
I realize that I am not the typical 2+2 buyer, I have kids and am looking for a second car - I've got the family hauler, so a 2+2 could do and would be fun. I have friends with the A4 - those that buy them say they'll never buy one again as they are in the shop a lot and Audi maintenance is a lot, same goes for BMW and Mercedes, though I don't hear about reliability problems from the Mercedes owners. When I read about the Camaro I had to go check one out. I told the sales guy why I was there and what I was looking for and he immediately started pushing me to last remaining 2015 2SS on the lot - a nice looking car BTW, so I did check it out, the interior is less than spectacular it could serve the role, though that particular 2015 was loaded to the hilt and well I wasn't looking to spend nearly $50k. I then checked out the 2016 Camaro, and immediately realized it could not work, the 2016's don't have a usable back seat. The sales guy said yep, that is why I directed you to the 2015, they have turned the back seat into a storage area. With the 2015 sitting next to the 2016, the 2015 has a better look to it in my opinion, the 2016 doesn't look bad, just a bit plain, less potent when compared to the 2015. Between those two reasons I believe you have the explanation as to why the 2016 Camaro isn't selling as well as the last generation, fixing the appearance shouldn't be that hard, putting a usable back area in - that will have to come at the next generation, if it ever does.
I think the biggest issue is GM still can't get enough low end models on the dealer lots. I4's and V6's are in rare supply around these parts.