Executives at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford have reason to celebrate over their muscle cars, while Chevrolet is likely taking a hard look at its Camaro. The 2018 sales figures are in from all three American automakers, and the results put Ford on top in the muscle car wars.
2018 Ford Mustang GT at Palomino Valley’s National Wild Horse and Burro Center
Despite a decrease in sales of 7.4 percent compared to the previous year, Ford managed to sell 75,842 Mustangs in 2018. The figure is more than enough to claim the number one spot after its first full year on sale after a mid-cycle refresh. The Mustang gained a revised front and rear clip and a host of other optional goodies. This year, the 2020 Shelby Mustang GT500 should create a welcome halo effect for dealers after the car debuts in Detroit later this month.
2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody
Second place goes to the Dodge Challenger. Although it placed second of the three, Dodge should celebrate the fact that it is the only brand that saw sales of muscle cars rise. In 2018, Challenger sales rose 3 percent year-over-year with a total of 66,716 cars sold. We have a feeling the Challenger SRT Demon had something to do with the uptick as more buyers jumped on the bandwagon by nameplate association. The Challenger is also archaic compared to the Mustang and Camaro, but buyers continue to flock to the car for affordable V-8 power and retro good looks.
A redesign of the Challenger and platform-sharing mate Charger isn't due until sometime early next decade. FCA's late chief, Sergio Marchionne, told Motor Authority last June that the redesigned cars may stick with the current-gen platform, albeit a heavily updated version.
2019 Chevrolet Camaro
Finally, in last place is the Chevrolet Camaro. Despite its sharp chassis and three different engine choices, the Camaro continues to flounder in the segment. Last year, the Camaro found just 50,963 homes—a decrease of 25 percent year-over-year. Since the sixth-generation car debuted, the Camaro battled to gain traction in the segment after banner years earlier this decade with the fifth-generation car. Readers may recall it was often the Camaro in first place atop both the Mustang and Challenger.
2019 Chevrolet Camaro SEMA show car in Shock color
One saving grace could be that buyers held off earlier in 2018 as they awaited the refreshed 2019 Camaro to reach showrooms. Numbers this year could be higher, especially with rumors Chevy is possibly fast-tracking a new front clip to production. Chevy showed off a Camaro concept at the 2018 SEMA show that relocated the bowtie badge to the grille, which seems to help the awkward front-end proportions of the current production car. Given the sales numbers, it looks like the Camaro will need all the help it can muster.