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Ford Mustang wins November sales race - sets up December shootout for muscle car sales title

The Ford Mustang outsold both the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger in November 2012, helping Ford’s pony car to close the gap between itself and the Camaro as the two duke it out for the title of the bestselling muscle car for 2012 – a title claimed by the Camaro in each of the past two years.


In November 2012, the Ford Mustang moved 5,309 units to happy new owners around the country compared to just 4,464 examples of the Chevrolet Camaro and 2,868 Dodge Challengers. This marks the 6th time in 2012 where the Mustang has been the top dog in terms of muscle car sales while the Camaro has claimed the other 5 months. Unfortunately for the rear wheel drive performance car sporting the Blue Oval, the Camaro has posted strong enough figures throughout the first 11 months of the year to hold a lead in overall sales. However, with the Mustang just 1,096 units behind the Camaro – putting the Mustang within striking distance and setting up a fight to the finish line for 2012.

The Ford sold 5,309 examples of the mighty Mustang in November 2012, accounting for an improvement of 37.4% compared to the same month last year. On the year, dealerships have found homes for 77,458 new Ford Mustang coupes and convertibles – up 18.5% over the first 11 months of 2011 when Ford sold just 65,381 Mustangs. This makes the Mustang the strongest of the Detroit Big 3 muscle cars in terms of sales growth from 2011 to 2012. That is the most important piece of news for Ford but we all know that they would absolutely love to reclaim the muscle car sales title that it held onto for years before the Camaro snatched it in 2010 and again in 2011.

General Motors sold 4,464 copies of the Chevrolet Camaro in November 2012, a drop of 12.9% compared to November 2011. Worse yet, with just 78,554 units sold through the first 11 months of 2012, the Camaro is currently looking at a year over year drop of 3.6%. This decline in sales compared to last year has allowed Ford to make the muscle car sales battle a close one as we near the end of the year. Should the Camaro stumble in December, the Mustang could very well prevent the bowtie clad muscle car from pulling of the three-peat.

The Dodge Challenger was – and pretty much always is – the worst performing of the Detroit muscle cars in terms of sales volume in November 2012 with just 2,868 units sold. The Challenger has finished third in rear wheel drive performance car sales every month this year and with 39,177 brawny muscle cars sold through the first 11 months, the Challenger is selling at a rate 8% better than the same period last year. The Chrysler Group is not concerned with the fact that they are the third bestselling muscle car in the US so long as the sales numbers are continuing to grow over time.

So, as we head into the final month of 2012, the Ford Mustang needs to outsell the Chevrolet Camaro by at least 1,097 units to claim the annual muscle car sales title. The good news is that a month where the Mustang gains 1,100 units on the Camaro is not out of the question as in two of the six months where the Mustang lead in monthly sales, it did so by at least 1,100 units. Ford sold 5,057 Mustangs in December 2011 so if the Motor Company can reproduce the 18.5% increase from November, they will sell right around 6,000 units. The Camaro had a very strong month last December with 6,754 units sold so if the Chevy muscle car also equals its November drop of 12.9%, GM would sell around 5,876 units. Based on those figures (which we are using purely for speculation), the Mustang would fall short but if you look at the 37.4% growth rate of the Mustang across 2012 – the Mustang may have one more bang-up month in it to claim the 2012 muscle car sales title.