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Ford Mustang Beats Dodge Challenger to End 2018, Camaro Continues to Decline

Sales numbers for December 2018 were announced this morning and for the 9th time during the calendar year, the Ford Mustang beat the Dodge Challenger in monthly sales while also securing a 4th-straight annual segment sales title – all while sales of the Chevrolet Camaro hit lows that we haven’t seen from any of the American muscle cars since 2012.

Although the Mustang posted its worst sales month since September 2014 last month, Ford still bested Dodge for a 9th monthly segment sales title in December 2018. More importantly, even though the Dodge Challenger was up for 2018 while the Mustang was down for the year, Ford still claimed its 4th-straight annual segment sales title, beating the Challenger by a comfortable margin while beating the Camaro by nearly 50%.

December 2018 Muscle Car Sales
In December 2018, Ford sold just 4,392 examples of the Mustang. That is the lowest monthly total for the Mustang since September 2014, but with the Dodge Challenger having one of its weakest sales months of 2018 with just 4,156 units sold, Ford was able to lead the segment in the final month of the year.

For those wondering about the Camaro, Chevrolet now published sales numbers on a quarterly basis rather than a monthly basis and with December marking the end of 4th quarter, we have some sales numbers for the Camaro.
Some very, very poor sales numbers.

Q4 Muscle Car Sales
During the 4th quarter of 2018, Chevrolet sold 11,135 Camaros, leading to a monthly average of just 3,712 cars sold each month. During the same period, the worst sales month for both the Challenger and the Mustang was December, so even on their worst month of the quarter, both Ford and Dodge crushed Chevrolet’s monthly average Camaro sales. Dodge actually led 4th quarter sales with 14,403 units sold, followed by the Mustang at 14,223.

I have a spreadsheet of muscle car sales numbers dating back to the beginning of 2012 and since then, the Camaro has never had a quarter where it sold so poorly. Also, for those readers wondering if Chevrolet buyers are simply leaning more towards the Corvette, the answer is no, as the all-American sports car is way down for the 4th quarter as well.

The Camaro is selling worse with each quarter, so it will be interesting to see what Chevrolet does to help stop the sales spiral that is happening while Dodge Challenger sales are increasing.

2018 Annual Sales Title
For the 4th year in a row, the Ford Mustang is the bestselling muscle car in America with a total of 75,842 units sold. The Dodge Challenger finishes second with 66,716 units sold – a record for the modern era of the nameplate and the first time since the Camaro returned for 2010 where the Mopar machine has finished second in the segment.

Finally, the Camaro sits in a distant third place with 50,963 units sold. Not only is that a shockingly low number compared to Challenger and Mustang sales this year, but it is shockingly low compared to all modern muscle car annual sales totals.

In addition to 50,963 being the lowest annual sales total for the Camaro since returning for the 2010 model year (not counting the short 2009 sales year), the last time that any of the three American muscle cars sold below 51,000 units was the Challenger back in 2012. In other words, the Camaro sold worse in 2018 than any of the American muscle cars have sold in the past six years.

Again, the Ford Mustang and many other popular models in other segments were down for 2018 as the American auto industry levels out from years of huge growth, but with the Mustang dropping by a small margin and the Dodge Challenger showing sales growth in 2018, there is no good excuse for the Camaro’s poor sales figures.


Garth (not verified)    January 3, 2019 - 10:02PM

Looks like people are sick of the Camaro. I had a 2017 and it was a horrid, plastic piece of shit. Couldn't see the mirrors over the door, seats were hard and uncomfortable, couldn't see the traffic lights at the line, and it had Apple Car Play which is trash.

Jeremy (not verified)    January 3, 2019 - 10:05PM

Not to start an argument but current Fords seem to have a very good reputation for build quality and low maintenance while Chrysler is still lacking in both to some extent in my opinion.

Jon (not verified)    January 3, 2019 - 10:06PM

The new Ford Mustang is far superior machine 10-speed auto is standard now lol. 69 Plymouth is my old ride 17 stang is new.

Mark Day (not verified)    January 4, 2019 - 12:36PM

Re: Camaro Sales Continue to Decline: GM, Chevrolet, Camaro, probably want sales numbers to look bad so the readers of Torque News, and others, can help bailout GM again – after it acts on the pledge of laying off thousands of employees. Incidentally, the Chairwoman of GM, Mary Barra, has a salary package of $21 million annually. I can sometimes agree with the goal of diversity, so I've diversified out of GM vehicles.

EZRyder (not verified)    January 4, 2019 - 8:38PM

And despite the Mustang being all those still continues to underperform. While the Challenger has exceeded growth year after year.

crabbyolddad (not verified)    January 4, 2019 - 11:23PM

I never felt the Camaro was a well executed design. Then again it copied a not particularly good design from way back when so I shouldn't be surprised. As was pointed out the interior is bland and plastic and the high doors give the impression of sitting on the floor without the benefit of a seat. When GM decides to pull the plug, all 32 Camaro owners in the US will cry~~

Jeff (not verified)    January 5, 2019 - 7:46PM

Lots of people are saying the Camaro's low sales are due to its front fascia, which is laughable to me. People don't buy cars or not solely based on the freakin' grille. I'm 6'4 and I had trouble even fitting into the current Camaro; it's extremely uncomfortable, and just too small. Its sightlines are also terrible, and it just feels plasticky all around. The Mustang is better and more comfortable, but feels a little generic, and that's probably why it's popular. (I've rented the current Mustang on vacations.) It still feels like a Fusion Coupe; it's inoffensive but a bit boring. The Challenger is big, and that's not a bad thing for some of us. It's also got better sightlines than either of its competitors, as well as more trunk space and a usable back seat. At the same time, it's got a lot more personality too. So it's kind of got everything if you're a big guy. If you're very small or you just want a smaller, more inoffensive car - and that's still probably more people even in this segment - then you get a Mustang. If you want a bigger car with more personality, you get a Challenger. The Camaro just doesn't match up well with either competitor, and it doesn't have its own niche. I'm sure it's a fine car in terms of performance and reliability, but there's more to a car than that. Chevy really needs to go back to the drawing board and figure out what the Camaro's supposed to be. Right now it's got the personality of a Malibu with the comfort of a Fiat 500.

Steve (not verified)    January 17, 2019 - 8:58PM

In reply to by Jeff (not verified)

You rented Mustangs - you've not driven a GT, if you did you wouldn't say it doesn't have a personality. I've had a GT with a manual and that car has all the personality a car needs. I've rented the convertible 4 pot,I honestly loved the convertible 4 cylinder, sure it lacks the V8, it also takes away temptation I don't always need under my right foot. In my opinion the top line interiors in the Mustang these day is perfect everything is intuitive, right where you need and that back seat is surprisingly useful. As far as the Camaro - yeah all those things are too, it's a great track car sure, for those of that that don't track a car it's terrible at just about everything day to day.
As far as the Challenger goes - I've never been in one, I'll take your word for it.

Barry (not verified)    April 5, 2019 - 2:29AM

In reply to by Steve (not verified)

The 2018 Mustang GT's have had major engine problems including motors breaking down completely leaving drivers stranded. Also, the fork shifts in the manual transmissions are breaking. They're made of aluminum. Last Mustang I owned was a 2012 GT and it was a headache. One problem after another. Ended up getting rid of it and now have a 2016 Challenger Scat Pack and love the car, zero issues.

Ralph Cramden (not verified)    January 7, 2019 - 12:22AM

The Camaro is a a great car, especially in the V8 manual. The problem is Chevy does absolutely no marketing. I guy at the gas station asked me what my car was. He said he had no ideal Camaro was being made again. The problem is not the car, its the asshole's at the top of GM who don't have a clue about marketing...much less quality marketing. Need to get rid of Mary Berra to begin with.

Laurene (not verified)    April 23, 2019 - 12:13AM

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