The days of Detroit muscle cars fighting it out for sales superiority are nearly over, but the Camaro at least isn't going away quietly. It will bow out at the end of this year, and for the second time in its existence, there isn't a clear successor. For years, poor sales have relegated it to a distant third place behind the enduring Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, but that gap is now surprisingly close.
How close are we talking? In the period from April through June, Chevrolet sold 9,557 new Camaros. That's still not enough to climb out of last place, but meanwhile in Dearborn, Ford sold just 10,760 Mustangs for the same period. That's the closest gap between these two rivals we've seen in a very long time, and sales trends are favoring Camaro in a major way. Percentage-wise, the Chevy is up a whopping 110 percent for the quarter and 54 percent for the year, while Mustang is down 2.2 percent quarterly and 2.9 percent overall. If this trend continues, Chevrolet just might steal Ford's thunder before it sends its war horse into the sunset.
Not even the Dodge Challenger, which has claimed the title as Detroit's best-selling pony car for the last two years, is trending as good as Camaro. While Dodge technically outsold Ford and Chevy in the segment with 12,904 Challengers, that still marks an 11-percent year-over-year drop. For the year, Challenger is down 5 percent and is currently trailing the Mustang ever-so-slightly for the lead.
|Vehicle||Q2 2023 Sales||Q2 YoY Change||YTD 2023 Sales||YoY Change %|
|Ford Mustang||10,760||-2.2 percent||25,471||-2.9 percent|
|Dodge Challenger||12,904||-11 percent||24,275||-5 percent|
|Chevrolet Camaro||9,957||+ 110.3 percent||17,337||+ 54 percent|
Admittedly, Camaro had a horrific sales year in 2022 but so did Mustang. 2022 was the worst sales year ever for Ford's pony, but a new generation could reverse the trend. Debuting last September, the 2024 Mustang will be on sale later this year with a bit more power from its standard-issue 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder and 5.0-liter V8.
Meanwhile, Chevrolet is offering a Collector's Edition package for various Camaro trims as it winds down production. The Dodge Challenger is also available in a plethora of special edition trims to mark the end of its run.
Enjoy more historical talk about Ford and other brands in this special episode of Motor1.com's Rambling About Cars podcast, available below.