Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger Pull Away from Chevrolet Camaro in March
All three of the American muscle cars had strong months in March 2018, with the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro both having their best months of the year while the Dodge Challenger posted its best monthly sales of the modern era. However, it was a far better month for Dodge and Ford than it was for Chevrolet, with the Camaro continuing to post some of its worst monthly numbers in the past two generations.
Ford Leads the Pack
For the second time this year, the Mustang led the monthly muscle car sales race, although it wasn’t a particularly strong month for the Ford pony car. The Motor Company sold 8,632 examples of the Mustang in March, which was enough to lead the segment, but it was the worst March since 2013. March has typically been one of the strongest sales months for the Mustang, but there is no question the Ford execs are hoping to see stronger sales later in the year.
The Dodge Challenger had its best sales month since the car returned to the lineup back in 2008, moving 8,150 units in March 2018. This is undoubtedly helped by the flow of Demons Widebody Hellcats to new owners, coupled with sales driven by the popularity of those supercharged models. With plenty more orders to fill, Dodge is likely to see more strong Challenger sales numbers as the year goes on.
In March 2018, the Chevrolet Camaro moved 5,245 units. I have a spreadsheet of all muscle cars sales numbers dating back to 2011 and since then, this is the worst March for Camaro sales. This comes after the worst January and the worst February in the modern era, so the Camaro is on an unfortunate trend of record lows.
Camaro is Falling Behind on the Year
As you might expect, posting the worst January, February and March sales numbers of the modern era has led to the worst first quarter start for the Camaro since it returned for 2010. After leading the annual segment sales race for five years straight after the introduction of the 5th generation Camaro, the Mustang has topped the segment for the past three years, but the Chevy finished second. The Dodge Challenger has finished third each and every year, but at this rate, that is bound to change some January 1st, 2019.
After the first three months of 2018, Chevrolet has sold just 11,792 examples of the Camaro while Dodge has sold 17,648 Challengers – giving the Mopar a lead of nearly 6,000 units. The Mustang is in first with 19,164, so Ford has a lead on the segment of about 1,500 units, but based on the past few years, the Mustang is the odds-on favorite to win 2018 again. However, with the Camaro already trailing the Challenger by 6,000 units and no real changes planned for either cars during the key sales months of the summer, it seems unlikely that Chevrolet will be able to mount a run at the other two muscle cars.
There have been rumors that a refreshed Camaro will arrive for 2019, but if it doesn’t reach dealerships until the 4th quarter of 2018, it won’t have much of an impact on this year’s sales race. If nothing else, we can expect big discounts on Camaros as the year goes on, but will that be enough to regain second place in the segment? We will have to wait and see.