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Dodge Challenger Outsells Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro in June

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For the first time in seven years, the Challenger has outsold both the Mustang and the Camaro. Is this due to the Demon, or is there a larger trend to explore?

Certainly the “heavyweight” champion of the muscle car crowd

When it comes to the modern muscle car segment of the automotive industry, there are three primary competitors from the “Detroit Three”: the Ford Mustang, the Chevrolet Camaro, and the Dodge Challenger. For the majority of this revitalized rivalry, the Mustang has led the pack.

Last month, however, something rather peculiar happened. For the first time in seven years, the Dodge Challenger outsold both the Mustang and the Camaro.

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In June, Dodge sold a total of 6,605 Challenger models. Meanwhile, Ford Mustang sales reached just 6,186 units, while Chevrolet only sold 4,691 Camaros. Challenger sales were up a massive 24% in June, making it one of the model’s best months ever. At the same time, Camaro sales were down 5.6%, and Mustang sales were down 36.7%. So what led to this surge in popularity for the Dodge Challenger? The most likely explanation is the Dodge Demon.

Did Dodge rely on a deal with the Demon to outsell Ford and Chevy?

If you’ve been paying attention to Dodge’s marketing for the past 6 months, then you’ve most likely caught wind of Dodge’s drag-racing monster. The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the most powerful variation of the Challenger ever constructed, producing up to 840 horsepower.

As Demon sales began last month, it’s easy to theorize that the drag-racing Demon added a major boost to the Challenger’s sales numbers. Of course, sales for the Demon could only increase the Challenger’s sales performance so much, as only 3,000 of these vehicles will be sold in the U.S.

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While the Challenger still places third in year-to-date rankings for U.S. muscle cars, it is right at the heels of the Chevrolet Camaro. Dodge has sold 35,910 Dodge Challengers so far this year, while Chevrolet is only slightly ahead with 36,567 Camaros.

Additionally, the Challenger is the only muscle car experiencing year-to-date sales increases. While Challenger sales are up 4%, Camaro sales are down 0.7%. And while the Mustang is still holding strong with its first-place ranking with 44,608 units, it has experienced a year-to-date sales decline of 29.2%.

2017 Ford Mustang in North America

The Mustang has slowed from a gallop to a trot

In a market that is moving away from cars and moving toward larger SUVs, the muscle car with the most muscle is on the rise, instead of on the decline. This alone cannot be attributed solely to the Dodge Demon, but must also be a testament to the long-standing popularity of the Challenger. What’s even more amazing is that the Challenger has not received a major redesign in nearly a decade, with not sign of a redesign in the near future. In that same period, both Ford and Chevrolet have introduced a new generation of Mustang and Camaro models, respectively.

The Challenger’s month of leading the market share of muscle cars may turn out to be a once-in-a-blue-moon phenomenon. Nevertheless, it may also be a sign of things to come for this particular automotive segment.