Another dynasty in vehicle sales for North America comes to an end. We already learned about Toyota passing GM for the top spot in the States. Now, after many years as the pony car champion, the Ford Mustang is dethroned in 2021 by the Dodge Challenger and its 14-year-old bones. That is, unless you include Mach-E sales in Mustang's total, which Ford does and doesn't do. More on that in a bit.
First, the numbers. Dodge reports 54,314 new Challenger sales in 2021, which is a 3 percent increase from 2020. Meanwhile, Mustang sales fell 14.2 percent to land at 52,414, officially making 2021 the worst sales year in the pony car's 56-year history. 2020 was previously the worst year, followed closely by 2009. As for the Chevrolet Camaro, its unbridled freefall continues as only 21,893 were sold last year. That's a drop of 26.5 percent.
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That said, here's where things become a bit fuzzy. Ford sold 27,140 Mach-Es in 2021, making it the second best-selling electric crossover in North America behind the Tesla Model Y. There's no denying the Mach-E is a success, but there's also no denying that it's very different from the familiar Mustang.
In its sales report, Ford has separate listings for the Mach-E and Mustang. However, the automaker also points out that combined Mustang Mach-E and Mustang sales were 79,554 total vehicles, and Ford does list that as a 30.2 increase versus Mustang sales in 2020.
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Regardless of where you fall on the Mach-E-versus-Mustang debate, there's no denying that Ford's traditional pony car is certainly struggling in the sales department. One might point to the global semiconductor shortage as a potential source for Mustang's decline in 2021, but that doesn't explain Mustang's years-long sales slide that began in 2016. As for the Challenger, perhaps Dodge's occasional unveiling of new packages and trims is enough to keep it fresh in the eyes of buyers. Either way, the Dodge Challenger is now the pony car sales king in North America.