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:
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.
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.
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:
|VEHICLE||Q1 2019 SALES||Q1 2020 SALES||CHANGE|