For The Second Year In A Row, Camaro Outpaces Mustang In Sales

Special edition honoring military personnel

Special edition honoring military personnel

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When the Chevrolet Camaro beat the Ford Mustang in sales last year (81,299 versus 73,716), Ford seemed to shrug it off with a “won’t happen again” attitude. After all, the Camaro had never before beaten the Mustang in sales, so Ford chalked it up to buyer excitement over the newly-released Camaro.

A year later, it’s not looking good for the Mustang faithful. Not only did Camaro sales increase in 2011, but Mustang sales fell from 2010 levels, widening the gap. Last year, Americans bought 88,249 Camaros, but just 70,438 Mustangs.

After nearly five decades of competition (excluding the seven years that the Camaro was off the market, of course), why is the Camaro pulling ahead in sales while the venerable Ford Mustang is struggling? Could it be that the Camaro’s styling is still seen as fresh, while the Mustang’s, which dates back to 2005 in current form, is getting old?

2012 Ford Mustang GT

2012 Ford Mustang GT

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It’s probably not outright performance, since the nod generally goes to both the V-6 and V-8 Mustangs in stock form. Yes the V-6 Camaro puts out 323 horsepower versus the Mustang’s 305, but the Camaro is carrying around over 300 pounds more than the Mustang. It feels like a bigger car, too.

Step up to the V-8 models, and it’s more of the same. The Camaro gets 426 horsepower if you opt for the six-speed manual, but gets neutered to 400 horsepower if you opt for the automatic transmission. The Mustang only delivers 412 horsepower with either gearbox, but weighs over 250 pounds less.

Even the new Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, with its promised 650 horsepower, hasn’t managed to generate the same hype and interest as the upcoming uber-Camaro, the ZL1, with its “modest” 580 horsepower. What’s going to happen when both models hit the street?

We don’t play favorites, so we can’t say which will dominate in 2012. What’s your take? Will the Camaro make it a threepeat or will the Mustang rise to the occasion and reclaim the sales crown?

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Comments (10)
  1. Awesome reporting guys, love you and the chevy brand, just wish the firebird brand without pontiac could rise from the ashes of the phoenix somehow, maybe someday??? i hope so :)

  2. Look the camaro is new and flashy and has been out the loop for awhile, that mustangs been here all the time and Im sure for Ford will keep it current. I'm a Ford guy nothing to worry as the mustang aint going anywhere and in time will retain that crown back, its proven just look at history thanks

  3. i agree with Ricky since theirs more people that already purchase mustang, am thinking way more mustang out their than Camaro's. ofcorse it will outsell the 'stang with the movies and all that, both great cars.

  4. While there may have been a pent up demand for Camaros after a seven year hiatus, there's no reason to think that such demand would have been satisfied in the first six months to a year. On the other had, I rented a Mustang convertible with the upgraded V-6 for a week and walked away from it thinking that it just wasn't that special. I've not driven the Camaro, so can't compare the behind the wheel experience, but it does look more special on the street. Since 'looking special' is what these cars are really about, I'm not too surprised that the Camaro gets more sales.

  5. I'm sure the 3 Transformers movies helped a lot with sales.. but besides that I also think Ford is somewhat to blame by over-doing the Mustang by way of offering too many model-designation.

  6. @gazzed, I definitely agree that the Transformers movies have helped Camaro sales. Not sure about the variety of Mustangs available, though, since if you factor in "Special Editions" of the Camaro there are at least as many favors available.

  7. Don't forget, there was a killer Mustang in those movies too, It just didn't get as much air play.

  8. Please like a mustang has never been shown in a movie before. If I remember right there was a mustang in the first transformers movie. I have to admit that I was considering a mustang but when I saw the Camaro for the first time in the movie Camaro was all I could think about. So now I am a proud owner of a Camaro SS and I have never looked back. I LOVE MY CAMARO, and so does my husband whom owns a "85" mustang that he custom order. I still have respect for the mustang but it just doesn't beat the Camaro in my opinion. Love and respect to you all!

  9. The 5th gens have got this! Its new and fresh and exciting in every aspect while the ford is lacking and behind the times.

  10. It's all about the looks of the Camaro!!! I didn't ever really like their looks before and had actually wanted a Mustang. However, after the Transformer movie came out and showed the new Camaro, I was in love!!! Still saving up my money to get me a Camaro. Sorry Mustang.

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