The Dodge Challenger has pulled off an impressive rise in popularity over the past few years. Despite a booming market for trucks and SUVs, the Challenger was the only muscle car to post a sales increase in 2018. That popularity has ousted the Chevy Camaro from the number two spot on the sales chart.
The Detroit Free Press reported Thursday that the Challenger not only outsold the Camaro in 2018, but it’s carried that momentum into 2019. Dodge sold 13,431 Challengers in the first quarter of this year, compared to 12,083 Camaros. Chevy’s muscle car makes up 21 percent of the market share, compared to Challenger’s 23 percent and Mustang’s 29 percent.
The Camaro’s fall from second place is the first time it’s ever happened in history.
On the news, a GM spokesperson told the newspaper Chevy is “determined to compete” in the segment and forecasted a bright outlook for 2019. The spokesperson noted greater attention to the Camaro’s entry-level performance models. The brand made the calculated move to focus more on the turbo-4 and V6 models last year.
Experts praised Dodge’s marketing and production planning for the Challenger, which has focused on “buzz” models. Cars like the Demon, Hellcat, and special-edition models create buzz for a car that’s comparably quite old to the Camaro. Dodge also said customer research showed exterior colors are a major selling point. Thus, the brand offers a palette of oddball colors, including retro hues. Internal Dodge data also showed many Challenger buys shopped Camaro and Mustang, but interior roominess helped them choose the Challenger.
The Camaro’s interior and visibility issues are widely scrutinized.
However, GM contends the Camaro is a good place. The automaker said sales remain strong despite a lack of incentives and rebates. We’ve heard this story before: the Camaro may not be a best-seller, but it’s supposedly a far more profitable car for GM to manufacture.
Still, there’s always a desire to be on top. Former Camaro chief engineer, Al Oppenheiser, acknowledged the Mustang has beaten the Camaro badly this time around, but there were no plans to let up.
Source: The Detroit Free Press