With the amount of attention paid to the debut of Ford’s 2015 Mustang and with the enthusiasm generated when Chevrolet introduces another hi-po Camaro, one could be forgiven for forgetting the Dodge Challenger exists.
But in the marketplace, as U.S. Camaro sales slid for a second straight year and as Mustang volume totalled less than half what Ford achieved in 2005 and 2006, sales of the Dodge Challenger increased. Again. For the fifth consecutive year.
Surely next year, you say, with a new Mustang in the offing, the Challenger’s appeal will be extinguished, right? Well, didn’t we expect to see the Challenger suffer when the Camaro went on sale in 2009 and became readily available in 2010? Didn’t we think the refreshed 2010 and 2011 Mustangs would seriously hamper the Challenger’s ability to attract buyers?
Last year, the Challenger’s market share in its three-pronged pony car lineup was 20%. (Rather obviously, it accounts for 33% of the category’s available nameplates.) In 2013, the Challenger’s market share rose to 25%.
If the goal is to be the outright top seller, then Chrysler is failing. But if the goal is to make money – the Challenger shares engines with many vehicles in the Chrysler Group and shares a platform with the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger – then taking a bite out of the Camaro and Mustang, both of which are available in many more forms, speaks to the Challenger’s success.
Then again, Ford’s Mustang was America’s 31st-best-selling car in the last full year of its fifth-generation product cycle, outselling the Subaru Impreza, Lexus ES, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Avalon, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Kia Forte, Hyundai Accent, Chrysler 300, BMW 5-Series, Nissan Maxima, Subaru XV Crosstrek, and Honda Fit. And many others.
The same can’t be said for the leader of the Euro roadster pack, the Mercedes-Benz SLK, not could it be said even if you combined the SLK and its five key rivals from Audi, BMW, Jaguar, and Porsche.
Potential Camaro/Challenger/Mustang rivals – though not direct alternatives – from Nissan (the 370Z) or, dare we say, Scion and Subaru (the FR-S and BRZ) are wildly less common. Indeed, the 370Z’s sales fell 11% in 2013. Nissan has sold 21,227 370Zs in the last three years. In each of the four years between 2003 and 2006, Nissan sold more Zs than that in twelve-month periods. (Hyundai doesn’t isolate sales figures for the Genesis sedan and Genesis Coupe.)
Undoubtedly, the U.S. market is unique in the way it drinks in Detroit’s muscle cars. But they’re not the only dominant two-doors. The vast Porsche 911 range outsold the Audi R8, SRT Viper, Jaguar XK, and Nissan GT-R, combined, by 6456 units in 2013. In the fourth quarter of 2013, the Chevrolet Corvette (base price: $51,000) outsold the, you guessed it, Dodge Challenger (base price: $26,295) by 576 units.
You can click any model name in the tables below to find historical monthly and yearly U.S. auto sales data. You can also select a make and model at GCBC’s Sales Stats page. These tables are now sortable, so you can rank sports cars, coupes, roadsters, convertibles, and hot hatches any which way you like. Suggestions on how GCBC should break down segments can be passed on through the Contact page.