The Dodge Challenger is very, very old, but it doesn’t matter. For the first time since the 2008 model year car, Dodge has sold more Challengers than Ford, and Chevrolet has sold Mustangs and Camaros.
Some will attribute that to the chip shortage, and it’s entirely possible that Dodge and its dealer network have responded better than its city-wide rivals, as brand CEO Tim Kuniskis recently suggested to Automotive News in an interview. But to Stellantis’ own credit, the Challenger’s rise over the competition has been a trend for about half a decade. Mustang and Camaro sales have only fallen since 2015, when Ford’s numbers peaked. Incidentally, 2015 was the year in which the current generation Mustang came on the market.
Ford moved 122,349 Mustangs in 2015, while Dodge moved barely more than half that number: 66,377 Challengers. Last year 54,314 Challengers rolled off dealer lots, compared to 52,414 Mustangs. Meanwhile, the Camaro languished far behind, at 21,893.
Kuniskis is adamant that Dodge’s goal isn’t to be the segment leader, but rather a welcome prize for weathering the supply chain storm, and a sign that his team is in line with what muscle car customers do. want: a sense of community, so-called.
The Challenger’s uniqueness, he said, is the driving force behind its continued strength in the market. The speedster is “not trying to follow anyone else,” Kuniskis said.
“That’s why I said don’t wake up trying to chase Mustang and Camaro,” he said Automotive News. “Not that I don’t think they’re viable competitors. They are phenomenal cars; they are just different cars. They are different from what we are trying to do.”
What makes the Challenger different? Kuniskis doesn’t really work out, but John Grant, owner of Sahara Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Las Vegas, seems to be getting close to an answer:
Las Vegas dealer John Grant said it was great to outdo the Mustang, but he knows that wasn’t the ultimate motive for Dodge. Grant said Kuniskis is committed to giving products to the “Dodge family” of enthusiasts and building relationships with them.
“All of a sudden we had to figure out how to sell the inbound, and people like that,” Grant said. “People like to order them, and [for] that Dodge Challenger, you can change the seats and the engine and the colors. The customer base just embraced that.”
The Challenger is sort of the snowflake of the automotive world—not in the pejorative language your uncle knows on Facebook, but in the sense of an inspirational quote. No two are alike. I’ve never been to a Challenger owners gathering, but I imagine they look like Skittles from above, scattered across the tarmac in an assortment of shades with unique graphics and all sorts of patterns on the hood, some with flared fenders and others without. Take a look inside the Challenger’s build-and-price siteand there are a whopping 11 different upholstery packs, each with its own name, for sale:
There aren’t that many Mustang or Camaro tastes. And in the case of the Camaro, they follow GM’s exciting naming scheme – various combinations of a number with the letter ‘L’, ‘T’ and ‘S’ for those feeling particularly sporty. That doesn’t really ring a bell like “R/T Scat Pack”, let’s face it.
That’s not to say that most Challenger buyers will leave the Enthusiast Pack lots. An owner of another CDJR dealer confirmed this in the article, although he also said the Scat package is gaining steam:
Huntington Beach Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Southern California was the top-selling Dodge store in the US last year. General Manager Mike Harrington said the Challenger’s V-6-powered GT variant has been the volume leader, with a starting price of just under $35,000. But he said the more powerful Scat Pack model spins the fastest.
I don’t have a pony – sorry – in this race, but I will praise Dodge for doing the most with the oldest. the challenger only has two years to go, topsand I have a feeling the 2024 run will set sales records as people try to get their hands on the very last of the ICE muscle car race. if the supply chain allows Stellantis to build enough of it, ie.