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Muscle cars are always in a race to see which is the fastest and coolest car, but for automakers, it’s a race to see who can sell the most. So, while the Chevy Camaro is one of the best and most powerful muscle cars on the market, it’s also, unfortunately, the worst-selling muscle car of the year. While the chip shortage hit Chevy hard, the Chevrolet Camaro was the worst-selling muscle car of 2021 for more reasons than that. 

The chip shortage hurt the Chevy Camaro a lot

2021 Chevrolet Camaro LS and LT muscle car models in red and silver parked outside of a brick building
2021 Chevrolet Camaro LS and LT models | Chevrolet

By now, it’s pretty apparent that few automakers have escaped the issues that came with the chip shortage. Indeed, some automakers did a bit better than others, but the chip shortage has damaged the entire industry nonetheless. That said, one segment that’s been hit particularly hard has been muscle cars.

This makes a lot of sense, too. Most folks don’t buy muscle cars, so automakers would want to prioritize chips for the vehicles that people are buying. That’s precisely why, just like other automakers, Chevy halted the production of the Camaro for a while earlier this year due to the chip shortage. This slowdown in production meant that fewer cars were available at dealerships.

Fewer cars at dealerships meant that dealerships could raise prices on what cars they did have. This was good news for folks who wanted to sell a used car, but not good news for anyone looking to buy a new car. As a result, many automakers like Ford and VW saw significant drops in sales, which is what happened to the Chevrolet Camaro.

The Chevy Camaro saw a huge drop in sales

According to GM Authority, the Chevy Camaro ended Q3 2021 with a massive drop in sales compared to 2020. In Q3 2020, Chevy sold about 8,300 units, which wasn’t great as it put the Camaro in last place compared to its rivals. In Q3 2021, however, the Camaro did even worse, as it sold only 5,200 units. This means that, compared to the same quarter last year, the Camaro sold 37.8% fewer models.

Looking at 2021 as a whole, the news is still pretty bad. In the first three quarters of the year, Chevy sold a total of about 15,000 Camaros. This is a 32% drop from the same period in 2020 when Chevy sold 22,000 Camaros. For comparison, muscle cars as a segment have basically sold about the same amount of units as in 2020.

This is because other muscle cars are doing fine in terms of sales. One reason for this difference might be in the design of the vehicles. As GM Authority wrote, the current generation of the Camaro is near the end of its life. As such, many Chevy fans may simply be waiting for Chevy to end this generation and introduce the next generation of the Camaro

Other muscle cars didn’t get hit as hard, though

In any case, the Dodge Charger, the Dodge Challenger, and the Ford Mustang are all doing either great or OK. The Mustang saw a big, 32% drop in sales in Q3 2021, but overall, it’s only sold about 14% worse in 2021 than it did in 2020. As such, this is likely just a temporary issue for Ford.

In comparison, the Dodge muscle cars have been selling great. They are now the top two muscle cars in terms of sales, with the Charger selling 61,500 units and the Challenger selling 44,000 units so far. For both cars, those numbers are a 15% increase from 2020. As such, it’s pretty impressive that Dodge managed to sell more muscle cars in 2021 despite the chip shortage. 


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