Automakers are ready to release their first-quarter sales results with the first three months of 2023 squarely in the rearview mirror. The American pony car segment is off to a strong start, with the Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, and Chevrolet Camaro seeing their sales increase compared to the same period in 2022.
Dodge closed 2022 with the Challenger becoming the segment's sales leader. However, while it had to most sales at the end of last year, it is starting 2023 already in second place. Through the year's first three months, Dodge has sold 11,371 Challengers. That is up two percent compared to the 11,124 it sold in Q1 2022.
Gallery: 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170
The Mustang is the current sales leader, sitting comfortably ahead of the Challenger right now, with 14,711 Mustangs sold so far this year. That's an increase of 5.2 percent from 2022, when the Blue Oval sold 13,986 cars.
The Chevrolet Camaro is still trailing the other two, with 7,780 cars sold through the first quarter. However, its sales are up the most – 15.9 percent. The bow tie brand sold 6,710 Camaros in the first three months of 2022.
If these sales numbers hold throughout the year, the Mustang and Camaro could beat their 2022 figures. However, the Challenger will need to outsell the Mustang if it wants to retain its sales crown and beat last year's sales figures.
This year will bring significant changes to the segment that was reborn in the mid-2000s. Dodge will end Challenger production in December of this year, sending the long-lasting model out on a high note with numerous special editions and the SRT Demon 170 – the ultimate 1,025-horsepower Last Call model. The engine rips 945 pound-feet of torque from its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 when running on E85 fuel.
This will also be the year Ford launches the seventh-generation Mustang for the 2024 model year, which could muck up the car's sales numbers as the automaker begins production later this year. The new Mustang will have up to 500 hp in the Dark Horse trim, which Ford will support with the 480-hp GT and 315-hp EcoBoost versions.
This year won't see the demise of the Camaro, but it is the beginning of the end of the model right now. Chevy will cease Camaro production after the 2024 model year. However, the company has already said, "this is not the end of Camaro's story."