Chevrolet Camaro Concedes 2nd Place In Sports Car Sales To The Dodge Challenger

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Dodge Challenger Hellcat
2019 Dodge Challenger | Photo: Dodge

The Chevrolet Camaro falls prey to lacklustre sales and drops one spot, leaving the Dodge Challenger to be the #2 best-selling sports car.

The Ford Mustang is untouchable. Much like the Ford F-150. The Chevrolet Camaro was always #2, now it isn’t. Reads like the Chevy Silverado. And forever in 3rd place, the Dodge Challenger, which has moved onto the next highest step on the podium. Same thing with the RAM 1500.

Things can’t be going well or smoothly at General Motors these days… Instead of taking the next few hours of your precious time to explain how and why the Silverado and Camaro are under-performing, let’s take a few moments to try and understand how it is that FCA’s managed to push a nearly 11-year car past one that is less than half that age.

The answer is that the Challenger is cool. Period. That’s it. And we’re serious as the Chevy Camaro is the better car to drive briskly – it has a better chassis, sharper steering and feels better put together. Problem is that it’s ugly. Its design is misguided. This is a reoccurring theme among Chevy’s latest products. Read up on what consumers and fans alike think about the new GM twins, the Sierra and Silverado.

You could do the same for the Camaro. Other than its questionable styling, most complaints revolve around the cheap and dated cabin, poor outward visibility and a general lack in usefulness and refinement. Yes, it’s come to this. Ever wonder why SUVs are so popular? Comfortable roomy cabins, quiet ride, and so on.

A Challenger is aspirational

FCA has created a brand around the Challenger with versions like the Hellcat, Demon and even the AWD GT iteration. With the exception of the Demon, all are readily available and actually functional and easy-ish to live with. Try doing that with a previous generation Z/28 or a new ZL1. Although the latter two cars are also cool, they are compromised. A 707-horsepower Hellcat is not. This is also part of the Hellephant-sized interest in the car.

It is an understatement to say that buying one of these sports cars, pony cars to be more precise, is an emotional affair. But it would seem that loyalties are switching, at least between Chevy and Dodge. Meanwhile, the Ford Mustang reigns supreme thanks to versions like the sublime Bullitt.

The Detroit Free Press reported the story and here’s a sampling of numbers they took from Kelley Blue Book:

  • In 2017, Mustang sold 81,866 for 26% market share; Camaro sold 67,940 for 22%; Challenger sold 64,537 for 21%.
  • In 2018, Mustang sold 75,842 for 28% of market share; Challenger sold 66,716 for 24%; Camaro sold 50,963 for 19%.
  • In first quarter 2019, Mustang sold 16,917 for 29% of market; Challenger sold 13,431 for 23%; Camaro sold 12,083 for 21%.

Unless GM loads up the Chevy Camaro with incentives, we don’t think it will recover before year’s end.

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