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