Could we have a new pony car champion by the end of the year?
The second quarter of 2021 in the United States is a period we suspect Ford is very keen to forget. The global microchip shortage is hitting the automaker very hard, and judging by sales figures release for June, Ford is suffering far more than its crosstown competition.
We already covered Ford’s overall sales performance through the first half of 2021, and we took a deep dive into the surprising news that Ram and Chevrolet beat the seemingly invincible F-Series in sales for the second quarter. Now it’s time for a deep dive on the Mustang, and sorry Blue Oval fans. It’s more of the same in the pony car realm as the ancient Dodge Challenger outsold Mustang by a slim margin.
With everything added up, 14,676 Mustangs were delivered in the States during Q2 2021. That’s a small decline of 6.6 percent compared to 2020, which also wasn’t the best time to be in the auto business. Dodge sold 15,052 Challengers for the same period, but despite production slowdowns it wasn’t a year-over-year loss. Rather, it was a 52 percent gain versus 2020 so apparently, last year’s COVID-19 lockdown hurt Dodge as much as the chip shortage is now hurting Ford. Still, the Challenger is 13 years old. It’s blessed with eternal life.
Gallery: 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody: Review
Meanwhile, news from the Mustang’s long-time rival is even worse. The Chevrolet Camaro logged just 2,792 sales for the same period, representing a deathly 58.2-percent drop compared to last year. To make that live for you, Ford nearly sold as many Mustangs in June alone as Chevy sold Camaros through the entire spring season. Yes, there are rumors that GM will keep the Camaro around until 2026, but sales numbers dwindle with every report that comes out and you know GM executives are aware of it.
The global chip shortage and ensuing production delays are hampering sales for all three pony cars, but the chip isn’t entirely to blame for this market shift. Camaro and Mustang sales have steadily declined in recent years while Challenger sales have been mostly stable. This also isn’t the first time that Challenger outsold Mustang for a specific sales period, though the prancing pony has maintained its status as the best-selling machine in its class.
However, 2021 could be the year that changes. With six months already down, Mustang leads Challenger in the sales race by a mere 3,638 units. Specifically, 33,786 Mustangs are delivered thus far, compared to 30,148 Challengers and just 9,881 Camaros. Even if Ford gets the chip problem under control, it’s entirely possible that the enduring Challenger and its dedicated following could unseat the Mustang by the time 2021 is over.
Ford, General Motors, Stellantis
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