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Ford Mustang Leads Dodge Challenger after Q2, Camaro Continues to Struggle

The sales numbers for June 2018 are in and as expected, the Ford Mustang leads the race for the annual muscle car sales title, leading the Dodge Challenger by about 5,000 units while the Chevrolet Camaro continues to fall far behind the cross-town rivals.


Back in April, General Motors announced that they would begin reporting their US sales on a quarterly basis rather than a monthly basis, so our past two monthly muscle car sales reports have only included the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Challenger. GM issued their quarter sales report today, but it is not broken down by month, so rather than focusing strictly on June, today we will look at the numbers for the second quarter of the year as well as the first half of 2018 as a whole.

Mustang Wins June
For those Ford and Dodge fans who are keeping track of that duel, the Mustang once again won in June 2018, moving 7,400 units to the Challenger’s 6,822. That gives the Mustang its fifth win in six months this year, with the Challenger claiming February, so based on the month-by-month battle, the Mustang is dominating the segment.

Q2 US Muscle Car Sales
Since Chevrolet Camaro sales are now reported by quarter, this is the first time that we will look at quarterly sales from the muscle car segment. In the months of April, May and June of 2018, Chevrolet sold 13,588 examples of the Camaro for an average of about 4,530 units each month. The Dodge Challenger moved 19,719 units for an average of 6,573 cars per month and with 23,264 units sold, the Ford Mustang led muscle car sales during the second quarter of 2018 with an average of 7,755 units per month.

Annual Sales
During the first half of 2018, the Ford Mustang leads the way with 42,428 units sold while the Dodge Challenger is a close second with 37,367 units sold thus far, so the Dodge is within a reasonable distance of the leader and with some strong months during the second half of the year, it is feasible for the Challenger to catch the Mustang.

It isn’t likely, but it is feasible. With the introduction of the new 797-horsepower Hellcat Redeye, Dodge is guaranteed to see a boom in sales over the next few months. This will allow it to close the gap, but we will have to wait and see if the Dodge can climb into the top spot later this year.

On the other hand, the Chevrolet Camaro has moved just 25,380 units during the first half of the year, trailing the second place Challenger by nearly 12,000 units. Without some massive change in the current sales trends, there is no chance that the Chevy will catch up to the Dodge or Ford, so right now, it looks like the Camaro will finish third in annual muscle car sales for 2018. Yes, it is a little early to be making that assumption, but with Camaro sales being so low while Challenger sales continue to climb – it is incredibly unlikely that the Chevy will make a late run to get out of the basement.


Jason (not verified)    July 3, 2018 - 5:19PM

Ford Mustang sales are ahead of Challenger and Charger sales because the challenger and charger twins are on a platform that’s 18 years old! Big and heavy they are... oh, fast too.

Donald Hayes (not verified)    July 3, 2018 - 7:46PM

In reply to by Jason (not verified)

It's so obvious that FCA is putting very little money in the R&D of the Challenger and Charger. They keep adding big HP engines in a 18 year old platform and call it a new model. Can you say profits. GM has a great performance car in the Camaro, but it's not a comfortable car with a tight cockpit and plenty of blind spots. Looking at the 2019, GM added a large Toyota styled grill and made it less attractive than previous models. I'm not sure that the public will grow into the new body work. Ford has turned the Mustang into the complete package. Great Looks, comfort (for at least the front two passengers), performance and a special European sports car flair. The two engine options makes it easier to select the Stang that fits your driving needs (Ecosport turbo V4 or the nasty, but civil Coyote V8 that gives you a V8 reminder from just hearing that amazing exhaust note) Yes, there's also the Shelby GT350, but I skipped over that model since it's limited production and appears to be coming to the end of it's run.

Looking over these three cars and models. The Mustang wins hands down, followed by the old school Challenger (Scat pack and up), followed by the Camaro.

Ed (not verified)    July 8, 2018 - 12:22PM

In reply to by Dan (not verified)

The V4 is the result of Communist regulations put on auto manufacturers by Left Wing Hall Monitors. The Democrats want you riding bicycles while they ride in private jets...

Jonathan (not verified)    July 4, 2018 - 3:04AM

In reply to by Jason (not verified)

It also helps that the Mustang has been around 53 years and the Charger were reintroduced in 2006 and the Challenger in 2010, and both reside on the Chrysler LX platform which was introduced in 2004. Close, but not 18 years. Also, they have to be fast, because they are both quite heavy.

Joe Thomas (not verified)    July 3, 2018 - 6:17PM

I think a lot of it has to do with style. I've been a Chevy fan for decades but the current generation Mustang and Challenger are much better looking than the Camaro. The 1st-gen Camaro was one of the best designs to ever come out of Detroit and while I applaud GM for using it as inspiration, they mashed, squashed, and pinched it to the point of caricature.

Anthony (not verified)    July 4, 2018 - 2:38PM

In reply to by Joe Thomas (not verified)

Agreed 100%! GM exterior design engineers NEED to LISTEN to what their potential buyers want and stop telling them what they SHOULD like and want. If GM would come out with a 95-100% exterior body design based on first gen camaros, and NOT make it a caricature of the first gens, and add all the modern bells and whistles, suspension, and drivetrain, GM would not be able to produce them fast enough.

I would be standing in line to order one. But as it stands now I will soon be ordering a mustang.

Tom Ritchey (not verified)    July 3, 2018 - 8:49PM

I love my 2015 Camaro. The Gen 6 is just not as good looking. A better car, but not as sharp. Chevy needs to after the v8 option with out all the required stuff that makes it cost so much.

Mak (not verified)    July 4, 2018 - 11:51AM

Chevy needs to wake up and smell the coffee. The Camaro needs a complete redesign. People are buying suv's, nobody is going to buy a cramped car just cause of it's performance as we're heading into a new decade. I test drove a mustang and Camaro and would have went with break down Ford cause it's more roomy

Mick (not verified)    July 4, 2018 - 12:25PM

GM should start paying attention to what the other American auto industry is doing , then shut down for another ten years and try it again.

Em Nag (not verified)    July 5, 2018 - 7:07PM

man, I love chevy and camaros I own a 2017 camaro and I love it. The chevy people need to make the camaro fun again. less expensive, more exterior color options, and go retro! Bring back the exterior of the 1970-1973 camaros, who cares about 650 hp...I concede the race to the mustang. chevy is ;losing anyway...Make the camaro fun again. quit trying to compete with mustang, make the backseat doable like the challenger. The challenger doesn't care about ford or chevy. they make the challenger look classic, have a nice price point, and 4 adults can fit into it. c'mom chevy, wake up or there will be no 7th generation camaro. Why don't you scrap the camaro and bring back the Chevelle? or the nova. make it fun and profitable!

Doug Wratschko (not verified)    August 7, 2018 - 6:35PM

In reply to by Em Nag (not verified)

Chevrolet missed their chance to reintroduce a " new " Chevelle, when they went with a " new " Pontiac GTO awhile back. That platform should have been used to bring back the Chevelle SS. If they modeled it as a retro remake on the legendary 1970 Chevelle SS, I'm sure it would have outsold the Pontiac GTO by a large margin. As it was, the older guys who had GTO's in the past didn't like it, and neither did younger buyers. Wasted opportunity.

Jesse (not verified)    July 6, 2018 - 8:30PM

As an old fuddy duddy, I remember the excitement of the debut of the Ford Mustang. Not too shabby considering it had the underpinnings of a Ford Falcon. I bring up this point to show that automakers have been sharing basic platforms for decades, so nothing new here.

Then there was the Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Firebird, Plymouth Barracuda, Dodge Challenger, Mercury Cougar, and AMC Javelin. These cars became factory racers in the Trans-AM series with the years of 1968-1972 being the most competitive for the "Pony car" era. The cars in these model years were as close to a factory racer the general public could buy.

So with the insight of history and being a Camaro fan since day one, I am in mourning over the Camaro since the 2010 introduction of this cherished nameplate. I remember the first article I read on the new 2010 Camaro. The article had a picture of the new car. I remember looking at the picture and asking myself, "Where is the Camaro?" Now look at a picture of the Mustang or Challenger and there is no "where is" moment. That is because they resemble the original.

As a previous poster noted, the 1970-1973 Camaro should be used as a serious styling cue. They were more aerodynamic than the 67-69 first generation, but retained their unique style. The 1974 models had hideous bumpers to meet federal standards which did nothing for styling.

So where does this leave Camaro fans in 2018? The answer is generational. Someone like me who has fond memories of each new generation of Camaro, has a lot more historical content to draw upon. A twenty-someone has much less Camaro history to draw upon. So our perspectives are different, and that's ok.

So what's the solution? A clean sheet of paper with a historical perspective in the rich history of the Camaro. But based on history from 2010 forward, I am not holding my breath.

LAWRENCE NARDACCI (not verified)    July 12, 2018 - 9:16PM

The Mustang is faster, better performing and looks way better than the Camaro. No wonder why Ford outsells the Camaro time and time again.

Kit Gerhart (not verified)    October 8, 2018 - 3:58PM

In reply to by LAWRENCE NARDACCI (not verified)

You meant "The Mustang is slower, worse performing....." The Challenger looks better than either Mustang or Camaro, IMHO, but it's too big. The size has its advantages, though, with the semi-usable back seat, and the really big trunk.

SV (not verified)    October 10, 2018 - 4:33PM

In reply to by LAWRENCE NARDACCI (not verified)

I cant agree with you on the Mustang being better than the Camaro. The Camaro handles WAY better than the Mustang and is built way better. 98% of the reviews go in favor of the CAMARO...

Barney (not verified)    August 14, 2018 - 12:28AM

Challenger is better looking than the Mustang. Camaro is not too bad. Never thought much of Mustang looks over the years. Never even thought about buying one ever and now t hat Ford is not a car company any more, no chance of that happening. Some modded Mustangs cars look ok, but it's never looked better than the Challenger, and the Camaro for the most part is pretty sharp looking and better looking than the Mustang too.

Kit Gerhart (not verified)    October 8, 2018 - 3:52PM

The Camaro is the best car of the bunch, performance-wise for the high volume versions, especially the V6 version, but the styling is too "juvenile." That's too bad, because it really is a good car, with any of the available powertrains.

I still think the Challenger is, by far, the best looking of the bunch, but it's so dang big.

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