The sales numbers from the American automakers are in for the second quarter of 2021 and after a massive year-over-year sales spike, the Dodge Challenger is the bestselling 2-door performance car in the U.S. market. Call them muscle cars, pony cars or whatever else makes you happy, but in the race between the Challenger, the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro, the Mopar was the most popular option among new car buys in April, May and June of 2021.
As many people know, the automotive industry is struggling through a microchip shortage that has caused a serious disruption in new vehicle production. As a result, inventory levels are lower than we have seen in decades and as a result, dealers are less willing to flex on pricing. It is nearly impossible to find a “good deal” on many new models due to the fact that inventory levels are so low, causing some buyers to set aside their plans until the market improves. In most cases, this is leading to a sharp decline in sales volume, but that isn’t the case for the Dodge Challenger.
Now, we should remind everyone that when we are talking about year-over-year numbers, the sales figures from this year are being compared to the figures from the same period last year. Last year at this time, dealerships, assembly plants and supplies were all shut down due to the early onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, leading to incredibly low sales numbers. Q2 of 2020 was the worst quarter for the Challenger since the company went to the quarterly reporting system with less than 10,000 units sold. Many industry analysts expected to see sales numbers remain low throughout the 2021 calendar year due to the microchip shortage and ongoing pandemic, and for many models, sales numbers are still terrible.
Fortunately, the Dodge Challenger is not one of them.
2021 Q2 Sales
In the second quarter of 2021, Dodge sold 15,052 examples of the Challenger, amidst an extreme shortage of new car inventory. That accounts for an increase of more than 50% over the same period last year, although it is a slight drop from the 15,096 units sold during the first quarter of this year. If we look back to Q2 of 2019, Dodge sold 15,237 Challengers after selling nearly 20,000 Challengers during the second quarter of 2018. In other words, Challenger sales are down from where they were a couple years back, but with the pandemic, the component shortage and the normal sales decrease that comes at the end of a lifespan of a generation, Dodge muscle car sales are still very strong.
The second-place finisher in the segment for Q2 of 2021 is the Ford Mustang, which moved 14,675 units during April, May and June. Ford is the one American automaker which has returned to the logical, monthly sales reporting method, with 8,000 units sold in April, 4,435 units sold in May and just 2,240 units sold in June. April accounted for a nice year-over-year growth rate of better than 50%, but the Mustang was down 25% in April and down 50% in June, causing it to slip into the second spot for the Q2 muscle car sales race.
Finally, we have the Chevrolet Camaro in a distant third. Chevrolet posted just 2,792 Camaro sales in the second quarter of 2021, accounting for an average of just 930 units sold each month. For comparison, Dodge averaged over 5,000 Challengers sold in each of those months while Ford averaged just under 5,000 Mustangs sold in each of those months. At this point, Camaro sales are embarrassing and Chevy really needs to call in the pallbearers for the dying model, as the figures are substantially worse than they were back in the early 2000s, when GM last discontinued the car.
2021 Sales Totals
On the year, Ford still leads the 2-door performance car sales race with 31,949 Mustangs sold through the first half of the year. The Dodge Challenger is a close second at 30,148 units and Chevrolet is sitting at 9,881 Camaros sold thus far. The odds are good that the Camaro will post its worst sales year ever while Dodge and Ford continue to move cars at a reasonably strong rate, all things considered.