Stellantis recently published the sales numbers for the third quarter of 2022 and, once again, the Dodge Challenger comfortably outsold the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro. Considering recent trends, that doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but what is surprising is that even as gas prices soar and inventory levels remain very low, the brawny Mopar muscle car posted solid growth numbers compared to the same quarter last year.
Challenger Leads in Q3
During the third quarter of 2022, Dodge sold 16,412 examples of the Challenger. During that same time, Ford sold 10,354 Mustangs and Chevrolet sold 7,922 Camaros, so the Challenger led the segment in quarterly sales, beating the Mustang by better than 60% while selling more than double the number of Camaros.
More importantly, the Challenger posted a year-over-year growth figure of 17% during the third quarter of 2022. Seeing as how gas prices are as high as they have been in ages and inventory numbers remain low – with Challenger production at Brampton halting last month due to a lack of components – it is impressive that the company is still able to post positive growth numbers. Meanwhile, the Mustang was down a thousand units from 2021 to 2022, but the Camaro managed to post positive growth numbers in Q3. Really, Chevrolet’s improvement of 52% is the biggest surprise in the segment. Chevy has made no real effort to improve the Camaro in the past few years and as a result, sales numbers are the worst that they have ever been in the history of the nameplate. With nearly 8,000 units sold during the third quarter, the Camaro had its best three-month period since Q3 of 2022, but it still is far behind both of the competitors on the year.
Leading the Annual Race
On the year, Dodge has sold 42,094 Challengers, down 2% from the first three quarters of 2021. However, with the Mustang moving just 36,598 units through the end of September, the Challenger has a pretty healthy lead in the annual race as we enter the Q4. The Challenger and Mustang and have gone back and forth of the past four years in leading the segment during the fourth quarter, so the final three months of 2022 could go either direction, but Dodge has a few advantages in this case.
For the Mustang to win annual segment sales race, Ford has to sell about 5,500 more Mustangs than Dodge sells Challengers over the course of the next three months. The Mustang hasn’t outsold the Challenger by that great a margin since early 2020, so Ford would have to post a very strong Q4 while Dodge would have to post a very weak Q4. With the end of the Challengers right around the corner, including new special edition packages, it is very unlikely that the Mopar muscle car will post a poor quarter.
At the same time, with the next generation Mustang having been introduced last month, but not going on sale until next year, some prospective Mustang buyers may hold off until they can order a next gen model, rather than buying now. In other words, it seems unlikely that the Mustang will post huge sales numbers over the next few months, so the Challenger is likely to win the annual segment sales race for the second year in a row.