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Ford Mustang Pounds Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger in a Slow August 2016

The sales numbers are in for August 2016 and even though muscle car sales slumped a bit last month, the Ford Mustang continued its remarkable 22 month streak of leading the monthly sales race – beating both the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger by sizeable amounts once again.

The current Ford Mustang went on sale for the 2015 model year back in November of 2014. Since then, the Mustang has led the muscle car sales race every single month, and while August 2016 was one of the worst sales months thus far for the newest generation, the Mustang still crushed the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger.

Before getting into the individual August 2016 sales race details, here is a quick look at the muscle car segment as a whole. The Mustang, Challenger and Camaro combined for 19,165 units sold last month, making it the second-worst month of the year aside from January. Coming into August, the monthly average for 2016 muscle car sales sat at 22,159, so August was quite a bit below average and that dip was reflected most clearly in the Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang – both of which also saw their second-worst sales month of the year.

However, as the overall sales slump for the new Chevrolet Camaro continued, August was actually a little better for GM’s muscle car…although Camaro sales are still very slow.

The Mustang Races Away
In August 2016, the Ford Mustang had one of its worst years since the introduction of the new generation back in 2014, with just 8,299 units sold. When you read that last sentence, you might think that things are looking bad for the Mustang, but with just under 8,300 units sold, the Mustang was still the bestselling sporty car and the bestselling 2-door car in America by a significant margin. The Mustang didn’t have a great month, but neither did any other sporty car in the USA.

The Chevrolet Camaro managed to climb into the second spot after trailing the Dodge Challenger for the three months prior, moving 5,604 units. This is up from the awful past two months for the Camaro, but it is still well behind August 2015 sales when only the 5th gen Camaro was available. The monthly trend continues, showing that the 6th gen Camaro is just not selling as well as the 6-year old 5th gen Camaro did just one year earlier.

The Dodge Challenger had its second worst month of 2016, moving just 5,262 units in August. The good news for Dodge is that while 5,262 is a slow month for 2016, that total would have ranked in the top half for 2015. In other words, the Challenger continues to see much stronger sales over the previous years, even though the world’s most powerful muscle car is likely to finish the year in the 3rd spot in the segment.

The Annual Race is Basically Wrapped Up
Although there are still four months left to sell cars in 2016, the odds are overwhelmingly strong that the Ford Mustang will win the annual muscle car sales race for the second year in a row. After August, Ford has sold 80,829 examples of the Mustang and with the current average of just over 10,000 units per month, the Mustang is on its way to another year where sales numbers will comfortably eclipse the 100,000 mark.

Even if Ford halted Mustang sales today, the odds are good that the Camaro and Challenger wouldn’t be able to catch up unless everyone who was going to buy a Mustang in the fourth quarter of 2016 bought one of the other two instead. So far, the Camaro has moved just 47,958 and the Challenger has moved just 45,488 units this year, so both cars are on pace to sell fewer cars in all of 2016 than Ford sold Mustangs in the first seven months of the year.

While Ford has the title seemingly wrapped up, there could be a battle for the second place position. With the Dodge Challenger outselling the Camaro in May, June and July, the gap between those two cars had gotten very narrow, but Chevrolet has pulled back away a bit with the August advantage. The Challenger is around 2,500 units behind the Camaro right now, so over the next few months, Dodge would have to outsell Chevy in the muscle car segment by about 425 units per month. The addition of the new Challenger T/A could help, provided that they hit dealerships in time to matter for this year.


April (not verified)    September 1, 2016 - 7:32PM

Now that more base turbo 4s are on lots, Camaros seem to start to sell better. The 4 turbo is the closest thing to a base Mustang. The 6 cylinder was only available (with the v8) until early 2016. That maybe was a mistake. The 6 only made a base Camaro a lot more than a base Mustang. Sticker shock was bad for a entry pony car. It may be to late for the 6th gen to win. It's a shame because the Camaro is such a better car in every way. (Okay fanboys tell me how much the Camaro sucks despite Motor Trend and even Mustang forums admitting it's built better, faster) The only thing the Camaro loses is in price and sales due to price. It's to bad. 6th gen is 100 times better than 5th gen Camaro in every way. I had a 5th gen before my 6th gen so I know.

Josh (not verified)    September 2, 2016 - 12:05AM

In reply to by April (not verified)

Built better don't agree. Faster debatable depends on which model doesn't it. Ford has you covered with the gt350, Roush models etc. Ford is selling more not because of price that's ridiculous it's not that sizeable a difference to mattter. Ford has the best package now just as Chevy did until Ford came out with the new stang. The Mustang has the looks nailed down. In the end Ford guys buy Ford, Chevy guys buy Chevy regardless of the price. Ford is winning big time because they are attractin new buyers that usually buy imports.

Steve (not verified)    September 2, 2016 - 9:42AM

In reply to by April (not verified)

Stop smoking the GM reifer, the Camaro is better in one way only - it's a better track car than a GT. The Mustang has a nicer, better thought out, far more comfortable and sportier interior arguably the style clearly appeals to more people, has a better reliability rating, and is an American icon. You knock fanboys like myself but I have been a follower of Mustang's and Camaro's since I was old enough to contemplate a car. To Illustrate that a neighbor who was something of a second dad to me restored a 69 ZL-1, I helped him from time to time, though I loved my '68 Mustang coupe that ZL-1 was a thing of beauty with which it couldn't compare. Do you even know what that car is? Do you understand the significance of that car to the modern Camaro? Have you ever seen one in person? ever sat in one? ever ridden in one? If not I think it's fair to say I am far, far more a Camaro fan that you are. Being a fan doesn't mean you love whatever the morons running GM turns out, it means keeping them honest. A Mustang today represents a true modern interpretation of the first Mustang's and proves the formula of that car - a stylish, fun, sporty, high-value car still has mass appeal today. On the other hand the 6th gen Camaro is built 1 or 2 and going to the track, that's about it. It's push rod 8 can easily be taken by the Coyote with minimal modifications - modifications any diy mechanic could make or afford to have done by Ford. While the Push rod engine has to deactivate cylinders to save fuel the 5.0 is able to adjust valve lift to achieve the same effect - without causing uneven cylinder wear and premature engine failure, and a host other issues that are now coming to light.
The original Camaro was similar to the Mustang, the 5th gen Camaro - which was such a hit was true to it's roots, the 6th gen is as I say a Camaro in name only. And in case you weren't paying attention the sales blip that just occurred coincides with a 10% price drop on the Camaro, which brings the price about in line with the Mustang. I'd imagine a lot of Camaro fans that are willing to look past the tiny interior and were expecting GM to come to their senses with the price where waiting for the drop and bought (to them well played we all knew it was coming). It's still an impractical car that anyone with a need to even occasionally carry three or four simply cannot consider buying, I also believe the Camaro will suffer in resale except perhaps the SS's where it's a performance bargain. People looking to pick up a fun-around town car will have to pass given the Camaro is too tiny to handle the job. That ZL-1 was sold for quite a high price, however before it was four of us took it on a trip to a somewhat distant amusement park, I along with my friend sat in the back, as I recall we had plenty of room to pass out after a long day in the park.

April (not verified)    September 2, 2016 - 3:06PM

In reply to by Steve (not verified)

Sorry Steve. Your mustang bias is showing. Being really old doesn't mean your a bigger camaro fan. I write here to show nit everyone calls gm morons. To show intelligence in comments. Please stop acting like you know truthfully anything car related. My freinds read your comments and lol. To say the Mustang has better everything is uninformed. Ate you really an adult? Do you really thing gm is morons smh

Steve (not verified)    September 2, 2016 - 11:02PM

In reply to by April (not verified)

I am not really old, and I don't think you have friends. My comments are above your head, clearly, and I don't believe you own a Camaro or have ever sat in either a Mustang or a Camaro. And yes I believe the leadership at GM are morons and will have the company back in bankruptcy before 2020 rolls around.

James (not verified)    September 10, 2016 - 2:04PM

In reply to by April (not verified)

Built better? Doubt it. Faster and costs more yep. Sells less yep. Can't blame the crappy sales on the base model being too expensive. The Chalkenger out sells it and is more expensive. The car is just ugly and underwhelming. The only thing it has going for it, is that it's faster. But that's the same thing the 4th gen had was it was faster. Typical GM repeating history.

Robert (not verified)    September 2, 2016 - 8:06AM

Nice try. You can get varying opinions on which car is better. Ultimately, it's up to the individual driver to make that decision. Obviously, some of the "evaluators" got it wrong if the sales numbers keep indicating that one appears to be more popular than the other. In fact, to throw in another magazine, Consumer Reports loves the Camaro, too; however, owners of Mustangs (by a very small margin) are more likely to purchase another Mustang than a Camaro owner is likely to purchase another Camaro. Having owned both, I prefer the Mustang--but that's personal preference. As far as price, the Camaro is cheaper than the higher end Mustangs, so price isn't necessarily the issue. If you recall, Camaro went out of production before, and I suspect that it was probably due to poor sales.

April (not verified)    September 3, 2016 - 7:55AM

In reply to by April (not verified)

April you come on this site every month and bash Mustang's and their buyers simply because more people willingly fork over hard-earned cash for one vs. a Camaro. I take it you're voting for Hillary as you'd like for everyone else to do everything just as you do, and if they don't there is something wrong with them, correct?
While I could come up with a scenario in which a Camaro purchase makes sense you on the other hand only trash the Mustang of the two of us only you are the fanboy. I went to a Chevy dealer and tested out an '16 Camaro I thought it was nice however what was infront of me and the window sticker didn't add up so I passed. I went to the Ford dealer, made the same comparison and overwhelmingly thought "I'm getting this much car for that price? - Ah yeah let's go sign the paperwork, right now.... " I had stayed away from the S550 also based on car magazine articles, I went after leaving the Chevy dealer thinking well I might as well see how bad the Mustang was, I'm glad I made that decision, my car has only amazed me on a daily basis since. What I have come to realize is the people writing these evaluations for magazines are mostly young millennials that rarely pay for their own gas or tires, half don't actually know how to pop the hood themselves and if a hood is open on a car they tend to shy away as they are afraid someone else will think they broke it. When they are not driving the Magazine's cars they are driving their parents' car or an old volkswagen or subaru with a loud muffler that annoys their parent's neighbors. They have come to believe they are a Porsche, BMW or Audi owner and have no perspective to evaluate a car what so ever.
It goes to prove crowdsourcing works and the crowds are saying the Mustang is a far better car value than a Camaro.

Randall (not verified)    September 2, 2016 - 3:24PM

Well, I have to say most the comparisons out a stock GM product against a blown out mustang.
Ford uses speakers to amplify the exhaust note on mustangs both in the cockpit and outside. Now even a 2012 585SLP will whoop any mustang Ford can produce . Funny how we never see the SLP camaros against the rough I mean roush product.

I have driven the 58th of 100 SLP 2011 camaro. What a beast! And it chews up mustangs all day . Shit, my 86 Chevy pickup chews up and spits out mustangs.

April (not verified)    September 2, 2016 - 6:21PM

In reply to by Randall (not verified)

So true Randall. Seems people aren't informed. And let's be real. If camaro was leading sales. Steve and other fan boys would still say mustang is best in every way. I get hated on because my camaro drives better is faster. And despite what some say quality fit on mustang is not up to par. Go youtube and look up camaro v6 vs. Mustang eco boost. It's by a non bias place. At end it says if they would buy or pass on cars. Camaro was a buy. Mustang wasn't. Go youtube look up subaruwrxfan his review of my car. BTW he's got a 2016 mustang gt. Idk why posters in here can't be nuetral. I like the Mustang bur it's not in the class of a 6th Gen camaro despite sales.

Steve (not verified)    September 3, 2016 - 7:08AM

In reply to by Randall (not verified)

I haven't seen one comparison like that I've seen 48k Camaros vs. 46k Mustangs which means you've checked every possible box on the Mustang, while with the Camaro there is still room to raise that price. Your 86 Chevy is rust bucket that can't outrun a Civic, get real and when the Camaro "takes another break" between the 6th gen and 7th gen you can retreat back into your hole.

Gene (not verified)    September 3, 2016 - 12:35AM

Being a owner of 4th Gen SS with supercharger and twin turbos underneath, love the t-tops. My friend I work for at garage just got we 2016 SS. It's fast yes, but inside, like cheap plastic junk! While I was out getting my new kia k9, I actually thought about getting 2015 Mustang v8, inside was much more smoother, not so cheap! But my kia takes my camaro down anyday! And it's quiet. But I'm not for gm or Ford. Technically I did like both.

Old man that l… (not verified)    September 4, 2016 - 1:53AM

I'd lik to inform yall fags aboot moo mustang it aint preety to say the least. ID like me a ford any day lets just say id carve my name into the side of your mom.

Darrel (not verified)    September 7, 2016 - 4:50AM

I own a 2000 mustang and it's the best year and best mustang around other generations around not so good but still beautiful on the outside but mine is the best under the hood best inside and best outside Mustang and no camaro can beat that

Matt R (not verified)    September 9, 2016 - 1:24AM

There is a reason why the mustang has actually been around for all of 52 years unlike the Camaro and its "50th" year. The majority of car owners aren't going to the "track", both the 1/4 mile and the race track. While yes, there are hardcore fans that love to debate about specs, the buyers go for more than just specs. Design inside and out, there's nothing to debate that the mustang takes the nod. Both cars are well built and Chevy put everything but the kitchen sink into getting the best specs which is why it costs more. They had to do this because they simply could not compete with the design and all around package of the stang.

in this case, just like you spend time talking about numbers, well read the sales numbers....they indicate which car is better. I would never go off of what motor trend recommends, they are a magazine that sells advertising to the likes of Chevy and Ford, I wonder who's spending so much on advertising a new generation of car that just can't sell well?

On a side note, if you spend on your own the difference in price of both cars, you can very easily get a gt to beat the ss.

Shelby gt350r ftw

Steve (not verified)    September 9, 2016 - 9:23AM

In reply to by Matt R (not verified)

Well said, I don't care that a Camaro SS is quicker than a Mustang GT, I'll never race mine. And where I live there are Lamborghini's, Ferrari's, high-end Porsches, M6 BMW's etc everywhere so it's not like I am driving around thinking I am the fastest car on the road anyway. I didn't really care as most Zeta era Camaro buyers didn't either that the S197 Mustang was quicker than 5th generation Camaro. I would care if a Mustang was quicker than a Camaro SS because Ford sacrificed day-in-day out, year-in, year-out livability and I know more than one repeat buyer of Camaro's that feels the same. I make the points I because whatever Ford does with the next generation Mustang, I do not want to see a Mustang that has a back seat with any less room than it has now. I don't want it any narrower than it is now. Nor would I like to see them put in a cam-in-block engine, I love the 7500 rpm redline of the Mustang GT, I've heard people at tracks test that the Coyote can rev to 8000 if you are using racing oil, and that I believe as I've hit the electronic rev limiter many times, there is no audible or physical indicator the engine needs to you shift, it just feels like it wants to keep going.
I would be interested in seeing a 5.7L DOHC.

Matt R (not verified)    September 9, 2016 - 11:58AM

In reply to by Steve (not verified)

While you are correct on the back seat point, you just cannot as a car maker not include it. It seems like they make it easy to delete the seats but the mass market buyer wouldn't buy a 2 seater this big. It's more of a business decision than anything. I think that's why the. Shelby gt350r comes with it deleted as that's a damn race car trying to get the least amount of weight possible lol.

I strongly feel like over the next few years we will see the last of the v8 engines due to strict year by year demands on fuel economy. We have to definitely come to an agreement that we have never seen muscle cars perform the way they do today. I don't think any German car maker or fan can denounce the fact that a muscle car is competing with their cars.