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Most Sales Were In The Red, But None Were As Bad As The Camaro

2020 2021 2022 Chevrolet Camaro Shock and Steel Special Edition Chicago Auto Show
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Muscle car sales for Q1 2020 are in. And, as suspected, there’s little good news to share. The COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic that has the United States economically frozen, and the automotive market has been hit by its effects heavily. For their part, General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have answered the call to mobilize against COVID-19, and have begun to produce much-needed ventilators, surgical masks and face shields for the healthcare sector, at cost. Just as automakers have changed gears to fight the coronavirus, the crisis has also shifted customer spending habits greatly, and muscle cars are especially vulnerable.

Muscle cars are largely considered to be discretionary vehicles. Meaning they’re far more of a “want” than a “need”, and provide little essential use in times of crisis compared to, say, pickup trucks, vans and utility vehicles. Here’s a breakdown of the Q1 2020 sales report:

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Despite creative methods to get customers in the door, such as 0 percent financing, and discounts exclusively for Ford Mustang owners, Chevrolet Camaro sales were brutally crushed. Selling just 7,185 units, the 2020 Chevrolet Camaro came in a distant last place in the muscle car segment, with sales sinking 40.5 percent. In fact, GM moved more units of the Chevrolet Spark than they did the Camaro in Q1 2020.

How bad was it? If the Camaro keeps this pace, it will end up being an all-time low sales record, save for the hiatus years in the 2000’s. Divided up, Chevrolet averaged 2,379 Camaro sales each month of Q1 2020. If multiplied by twelve, the annual sales projection is just 28,548 units. And considering the current state of affairs, it could be even lower than that when it’s all said and done.

We can almost hear the axes being sharpened in the distance. Perhaps if more customers knew that they could purchase a Camaro without leaving their house via ShopClickDrive, the picture would be less bleak.

Dodge Challenger 50th Anniversary Edition
2020 Dodge Challenger 50th Anniversary Edition

The Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger also saw losses, but compared to the Camaro, they got off easy. The LX muscle car siblings totaled 30,766 units, down 10 percent from the 34,046 units sold in Q1 2019. This is in spite of the Dodge Power Dollars campaign, which allows customers to save one dollar for every horsepower they want to drive home with. Sales for the Charger and Challenger are broken down in the chart below.

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The only bright spot in the sales chart was the Ford Mustang. The original pony car actually saw sales growth, coming in at 18,069 units in Q1 2020, up from 16,917 units sold in Q1 2019.

Below is the up-to-the-minute breakdown of total Q1 2020 muscle car sales for the American market:

Chevrolet Camaro12,0837,185-40.5%
Dodge Challenger13,43112,138-10%
Dodge Charger20,61518,628-10%
Ford Mustang16,91718,069+6.8%
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Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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  1. Where the mare meets the sea.
    I’ve read that Barracuda preceded Ford’s car.

    Bend this curve, then see where things stand.
    Wear a mask. DIYers use vacuum replacement bags.
    Shop for a senior. Donate blood.
    Last but not least, take back liberty.

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