Discounting this current month of August 2011, the reborn fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro has been on sale for 28 months. When we say “on sale” and “Camaro” in the same sentence, we actually mean “fighting against the Ford Mustang” for 28 months, right? And in the last couple years there’s been another cross-town rival with which to do battle, the Dodge Challenger.
Back in 2002 we thought this war had been waged and it was never to be fought again. The automotive climate wasn’t fit for a muscle car fight. Of course, Ford knew how to market the Mustang, and in 2005, Ford proved it knew how to style a Mustang, as well.
Even when Dodge and Chevrolet began showing concept versions of the next Challenger and Camaro in response to the praises showered upon Ford’s reinvigorated Mustang, it didn’t seem likely that sales of these if-or-when muscle cars would skyrocket.
It’s true, the Challenger hasn’t been quite as big a hit, but don’t let yourself believe that Dodge wasted time and money developing its muscle car. Not at all. Just a few months ago, in March 2011, Dodge sold 3989 Challengers in America. That figure was greater than Porsche’s total U.S. volume in March, higher than what Audi managed with its A4, better than Hyundai’s total Genesis Coupe and sedan sales.
The Good Car Guy has compiled five charts and one table to help you understand the U.S. muscle car market since the Chevrolet Camaro went back on sale in April 2009. Here are a few pertinent facts before you delve into the details.
The Ford Mustang has been #1 in this three-car segment only seven times since April 2009. One of those six occasions was the month in which Camaro arrived in stores.
In the Challenger’s best post-April ’09 month (March 2011, as noted) Ford and Chevrolet each sold more than twice as many Mustangs and Camaros.
Chevrolet sold an average of 6850 Camaros per month in 2009; Ford sold an average of 5552 Mustangs. The 2009 year end numbers you’ll see in the table below are deceiving.
Through the first seven months of 2011, the Camaro is up 4.8% year-over-year. Mustang sales are down 3.5%. Challenger sales are up 10.8%.
Since April 2009, 43.9% of all American muscle car sales have occurred in Chevrolet showrooms. 38.9% of those 453,833 sales were Mustangs. 17.2% were Dodge Challengers.
Check out the first chart below (it sort of does the work of a pie chart 28 times over) which shows total muscle car volume by month with portions afforded to the Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger. Then, after the jump, have a look at four more charts – some of which basically tell the same story in different ways – and the exhaustive volume-oriented table displaying the monthly U.S. volume reported by each of these three truly American cars. Go ahead and click any chart for a larger view.
Above, see trend line of U.S. monthly volume of America’s three muscle cars.
Above, see the strength and weakness of monthly U.S. muscle car
volume by the height or lack of height for each car’s 28 bars.
By studying the chart above you’ll see the market share
owned by each of the three muscle cars in each of the last 28 months.
This final chart shows the combined strength of the
three American muscle cars in each of the last 28 months.