Last updated: March 30, 2020
2020 Ford Mustang
2020 Ford Mustang

A question that has been on my mind has been who is winning the muscle car segment? And not by the usual metrics that car journalists usually go to quarter-mile times, race track times, head to heads, brake tests, creature comforts, ride quality, pricing, blah blah blah, so on and so forth... We have all seen those tests hashed out in a million ways via Youtube videos, articles, magazines, and blog posts. I wanted to analyze this question through a different perspective so let’s get to it. In this post, I wanted to take a more quantitative approach and compare the cold hard numbers of how many units each model is moving. And by the end of the post, hopefully, we can really answer who really is winning the muscle car segment? To begin, let’s just take a visual look at the annual sales numbers of each vehicle.

Sales Figures by Year | Muscle Car
Sales Figures by Year | Muscle Car

And some numbers:

Vehicle Sales
Ford Mustang 853,159
Chevrolet Camaro 744,828
Dodge Challenger 545,613

And another visual, this time we broke up the sales by quarters: Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4.

Sales Figures by Quarter | Muscle Car
Sales Figures by Quarter | Muscle Car

From this above visualizations, we can see a few things:

  • The Ford Mustang is the best selling American muscle car with 853,159 units sold from 2010-2019. The Chevrolet Camaro is the second best selling American muscle car with 744,828 units sold. And the Dodge Challenger comes in last with 545,613 units sold from 2010-2019.
  • Sales fluctuate based on the quarter. Q2 is the most important and biggest sale quarter of every year at least for the muscle car segment.
  • The Challenger has been a slow starter winning sales but has started to tail the Camaro in 2017 and finally beat out the Camaro in 2018.
    • Dodge debuted the Challenger SRT Demon in 2017. Perhaps introducing the halo car brought in greater brand value and recognition and therefore a bump in sales in 2018?
  • Mustang has been challenged sales wise by the Camaro starting from 2010 to 2014, but started to take large strides in 2015 beating out the competitors hand over fist.
    • This coincides with the introduction of the Ford Mustang sixth-generation. The sixth-generation I would conclude was a great success as it resonated very well with consumers.
  • Camaro started strong, but has seen a steep decline after 2017.
    • Chevrolet introduced the sixth generation model in 2016. Unlike the Mustang whose sales jumped significantly with the new model refresh, the Camaro refresh did not have an impact on sales.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mustang reigns king.
  • To stay on top, manufacturers must constantly innovate and push out new model refreshes that also must resonate with consumers.
  • Introducing halo models such as the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is a great move to getting people chattering about the car and could have a positive impact on sales.